Patent Post-Grant Options – The New AIA Regime

Post-grant review proceedings of the USPTO were pursued in record number in 2011. In response, the America Invents Act introduced new options for patent reexamination such as Post-Grant Review, Inter Partes Review (formerly inter partes patent reexamination) Derivation, a special post-grant review for “business method” patents and Supplemental Examination. Whether your job requires management of a patent portfolio or advising clients in disputes that involve or may lead to patent litigation, the changes brought forth by the AIA are incredibly relevant.

PLI is responding to these changes by providing a seminar focused on these new patent post-grant options. On February 3rd, the seminar entitled “Post-Grant USPTO Proceedings 2012 – The New Patent Litigation” will be held at the New York PLI Center and online via a live webcast! Gain valuable practice insights concerning the new America Invents Act (AIA) post-grant USPTO proceedings directly from experienced practitioners on the program’s stellar faculty including:

Brian Hanlon, Director of the Office of Patent Legal Administration;

Irem Yucel, Director of the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU);

BPAI’s Chief Administrative Patent Judge James Donald Smith;

U.S. Chief Judge Garrett E. Brown and District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee; and

ITC Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex  (more…)

The New Law the USPTO is Thankful for this Thanksgiving

In the spirit of expressing gratitude this Thanksgiving holiday, Scott McKeown, Partner at Oblon, Spivak, Practice Center Contributor and author of Patents Post Grant Blog, shares the newest law for which the USPTO is thankful. On November 18, 2011, President Obama signed into law H.R. 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. This bill provides the USPTO with official spending authority through the end of September 2012 (the end of the fiscal year) and the ability to spend up to $2.7 billion dollars. According to Scott’s post (more…)

Tech Giants Weigh In On USPTO Post Grant Rule Making Effort

Written by Scott McKeown, Partner at Oblon Spivak, Practice Center Contributor and author of Patents Post Grant blog.

Group 2 Comments on AIA Implementation Due to USPTO Tomorrow

As pointed out last week, the USPTO has been busy fashioning new rules to implement the various provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). Comments on Group 2 Rules, which include Inter Partes Review & Post Grant, must be submitted by November 15th.

Last week, Cisco, Google, Verizon and Intuit submitted joint comments (here) directed solely to the implementation of post grant proceedings, namely, Inter Partes Review (IPR) and Post Grant Review (PGR). Not surprisingly, these tech giants (i.e., targets of serial patent infringement suits) are especially supportive of post grant mechanisms as an alternative to traditional litigation. The Group’s comments encourage the Office to adopt liberal standards for initiation of IPR and PGR, limit the potential estoppel affect of a concluded proceeding, and provide procedural flexibility for petitioners. (more…)

Will Any Patent Application Be Better Off Under The America Invents Act?

The following analysis of the changes to 35 USC § 102 under the America Invents Act comes from Courtenay Brinckerhoff ,writer of PharmaPatents Blog and Partner at Foley & Lardner.  Brinckerhoff questions whether any patent application will be better off under the new law?

The changes to 35 USC § 102 embodied in the America Invents Act (AIA) take effect on March 16, 2013, under complicated effective date provisions. The general consensus seems to be that applicants should try to file new applications before the law changes, because (for example) applications filed under the new law will be subject to a broader definition of prior art and will lose the ability to swear behind certain prior art by proving an earlier date of invention. Moreover, patents granted from such applications will be subject to challenge under the new post-grant review provisions.In counseling clients on how to prepare for the impact of patent reform, I’ve been trying to identify situations where an application might be better off under the new law. So far, only one scenario comes to mind–an application threatened by an inventor-based disclosure that was made before a foreign priority date. (more…)

Post Grant Dead Zone Coming Soon

Written by Scott McKeown, Partner at Oblon Spivak, Practice Center Contributor and author of Patents Post Grant blog.

PGR Window Anomaly to Encourage Early Litigation?

Post Grant Review (PGR) is limited to patents maturing from applications filed on or after March 16, 2013 (note, the exception for business method patents, Sec. 18 of the AIA).  Of course, it will take several years for such patents to issue from the USPTO. Thus, practically speaking, PGR will not be an option for third parties seeking to challenge the validity of an issued patent until at least the second half of this decade. Nevertheless, the PGR statutes will have a significant impact on third party options and parallel litigation strategy going forward.

As a reminder, patents eligible for PGR that are not business method patents, are those that are within 9 months of issuance, or re-issuance for broadening reissues (§ 321 (c)).

When fashioning the Inter Partes Review (IPR) statutes, Congress mandated that IPR may not be requested until the later of 9 months from patent issuance, or if PGR is instituted the date of termination (§ 311(c)). This timing limit is meant to ensure that PGR and IPR are not conducted in parallel. IPR, unlike PGR,  becomes available for all patents next September 16, 2012. (more…)