Prior Art Admission Burns Patentee in Reexam at CAFC

US Court of Appeals for Fed CircRecently, the Federal Circuit issued a non-precedential per curiam decision in an appeal from an inter partes reexamination. Chief Judge Rader, Judge Newman and Judge Dyk were on the panel.

Victor Manuel Celorio Garrido appealed from a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board relative to the inter partes reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 6,213,703. The Board affirmed the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) examiner’s rejection of all but six claims as anticipated or obvious over the prior art. Garrido appealed to the Federal Circuit, arguing that the Board erred by relying on prior art references that were not published or publicly accessible prior to the filing date and by failing to address alleged misconduct by the requestor.  The Federal Circuit panel concluded that the Board did not err and that the claims of misconduct were unsupported.

The ’703 patent, which claims priority to a predecessor application filed on October 3, 1997, is directed to an “Electronic Bookstore Vending Machine” for printing and binding books on demand. The ’703 patent’s specification explains that the invention is a step-by-step method and a system for formatting, printing, and binding books, magazines, or other printed material.


Inter Partes Reexam and the Post Grant Dead Zone

On July 24, 2012, the Patents Post Grant blog published an interesting article titled Higher Patent Reexamination Threshold Suffers from SNQ Hangover.  In the article, Scott McKeown, a partner with Oblon, Spivak in the firm’s Post Grant Patent Practice Group, wrote:


A random review of 80 requests filed under the new Reasonable Likelihood of Prevailing (RLP) standard reveals over 25 requests that were either partially (or even fully denied by examiners) [sic]. Compared to the prior grant rate of close to 95%, it would seem the new “higher standard” is having Congress’ desired effect.

Based on this sampling by McKeown, it seems that the new standard is indeed having an effect.  McKeown goes on to explain that if you file an inter partes reexamination request and it is denied, you can always learn from what the examiner stated and resubmit, but that only applies as long as there is time.  Inter partes reexamination will go the way of the dinosaurs on September 16, 2012.  McKeown writes: “Those IPX filers that are in parallel litigation, and have their IPX requests denied closer to the September deadline, may soon be forced into some very unfavorable positions.”


Challenges to Medical Device Patents Prominent Among Reexamination Requests Filed Week of February 6, 2012

Here is our latest weekly installment of Reexamination Requests from Scott Daniels, of Reexamination Alert and Practice Center Contributor…

There has been a notable increase in the number of reexamination requests filed against medical device patents.  That trend continued apace last week.

First, Innova Labs requested reexamination of two Inogen patents claiming structures for delivering therapeutic gases to patients (see inter partes Request Nos. (3) & (4)).  Inogen has sued Innova in the Central District of California for infringement of the patents.  Also, Globus Medical requested reexamination of three surgical access apparatus patents owned by Nuvasive (see inter partes Request Nos. (6), (7) & (8)).  Those companies are locked in an infringement action in Delaware.

And reexamination was requested for yet another Round Rock Research RFID patent and yet another Ronald Katz telephone patent (see ex parte Request Nos. (3) & (5)). (more…)

Attack on the Walker Digital Image Management Patent, Among the Reexamination Requests Filed Week of Jan 30th

Here is our latest weekly installment of Reexamination Requests from Scott Daniels, of Reexamination Alert and Practice Center Contributor…

Reexamination was requested last week by an un-identified party against a Walker Digital patent that names Jay Walker of Priceline fame as an inventor (see ex parte Request No. (1)).  The patent claims a computer readable storage medium in a camera, which stores instructions for the camera’s management of images. Walker Digital has sued Canon USA for infringement of the patent, and it might be Canon that filed the request.

Requests were filed by GT Nexus against four shipment monitoring patents owned by INTTRA, Inc. (see ex parte Request Nos. (7) to (10)).  The patents relate to systems including user interfaces that allow a shipper to track and trace containers across multiple carriers and an event notifications system.  The two companies are in an infringement action in the Northern District of California regarding these patents.

And reexamination has been requested for yet another MobileMedia Ideas patent, this time by Research In Motion (see ex parte Request No. (14)). (more…)

eBay Attack on Purple Leaf Electronic Transaction Patent Among the Reexamination Requests Filed Week of Jan. 23rd

Here is our latest weekly installment of Reexamination Requests from Scott Daniels, of Reexamination Alert and Practice Center Contributor…

Last week eBay replied to an infringement action filed against it in the Eastern District of Texas by Purple Leaf by seeking reexamination of the patent-in-suit (see inter partes Request No. (2)).  The Purple Leaf patent claims a process for conducting electronic transactions and making payments over the Internet.

The winner for the most reexamination requests filed wasNanosolar that challenged three Solannex patents related to photovoltaic cells (see ex parte Request Nos. (5), (6) & (7)).  The companies are in litigation over these patents in the Northern District of California.

Ex parte Request No. (4), involving U.S. Patent No. 5,337,753 owned by Biosig Instruments and claiming a heart rate monitor, is interesting in that it expressly calls for the PTO to “clarify the record” regarding the meaning of the claims.  The Request notes the ‘753 patent has been through an earlier reexamination, but that the trial judge in a pending infringement action has refused to rely on the patentee’s assertions in that earlier reexamination because they are “ambiguous.”  (more…)