EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.21.18

The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

Posted in America, Patents at 3:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The USPTO has more safeguards against inappropriate patents; resistance to this comes from patent maximalists

A comparison
PTAB hasn’t the incentive of examiners (to grant a lot of patents) and is willing to reject many upon reassessment

Summary: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation ‘industry’ is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam

THE oftentimes-ferocious attacks on the US appeal board (PTAB) that deals with low-quality US patents have slowed down*. There weren’t many of them over the past week. We watch these things closely enough and recently with greater concern because the intention of these attacks is to change the stance/policy of the USPTO and the US Supreme Court (due to rule on Oil States in a matter of just months).

At the appeal board, the burden of proof should be put on the aggressor; the aggressor isn’t the petitioner but the party which typically uses patents either to litigate or threaten to litigate. PTAB petitioners are often on the receiving end of threats and thus they’re the victims. “The PTAB granted the IPRs for six of the seven patents,” this article by Bryan Hart said some days ago. It is about the Philips case which we wrote about last week. Here are some details about it:

Philips had asserted infringement of seven patents: Patent Nos. 6,147,458; 6,250,774; 6,561,690; 6,586,890; 6,788,011; 7,038,399; and 7,352,138. In due course, Wangs filed invalidity contentions against the patents-in-suit, and at the one-year deadline, Wangs petitioned for IPRs. The PTAB granted the IPRs for six of the seven patents. While the court stayed the case, the PTAB handled the IPRs, ruling for Wangs on some claims but not others. In the immediate motion, Philips moved to prevent Wangs from relying on prior art left out of its contentions under local rules, and to estop Wangs from relying on prior art included in its contentions but not in its IPR petitions.

We have been writing about the patent bullying of Philips for over a decade; Philips typically does the bullying (or “enforcement”) indirectly, e.g. via Sisvel. Can PTAB slow that down?

“The Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has designated the following decisions, which involve 35 U.S.C. § 315(b), as informative,” said this site the other day.

We are particularly interested in PTAB decisions that deal with Section 101 (a subject of a later article, due to be published tonight), but sometimes, as in this new case (direct link to PDF) PTAB reverses examiners’ decisions based on Section 102 and Section 103. At CAFC, according to this, “[w]ithout open dissent, the Federal Circuit has denied Helsinn’s petition for en banc rehearing on the definition of “on sale” under the AIA-amended prior art statute 35 U.S.C. 102.”

Here we have patent trolls moaning about PTAB using Section 101. That interferes with these trolls’ business [sic] model, so power to PTAB.

There have been numerous different attempts to squash PTAB lately (legistative included), but we are not hearing about these anymore. There were also attempts to bypass PTAB by misusing sovereign immunity, but those too are failing. PTAB has in fact determined that at CAFC any such immunity gets voided, according to this new post by Peter Law and Kerry S. Taylor. To quote:

On December 19, 2017, a seven-judge expanded PTAB panel ruled that the University of Minnesota (UM) waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity defense when it filed a patent infringement action in federal district court. Eleventh Amendment immunity had been the focus of several previous PTAB decisions, but these previous decisions did not involve a sovereign who had filed an infringement action in federal court before an IPR petition was filed.

In early 2017, the PTAB held that a state university was immune from IPR challenge under Eleventh Amendment state sovereign immunity. Covidien LP v. Univ. of Florida Research Found. Inc., IPR2016-01274, Paper 21 at 27. Mindful of the Covidien decision, Ericsson Inc. filed several IPR petitions against the Regents of UM and noted that the Covidien case was distinguishable because the University of Florida had not waived its sovereign immunity by asserting its patent in federal district court, whereas UM had asserted its patent in the US District Court of Minnesota. UM moved to dismiss Ericsson’s IPR petitions, arguing that filing of the lawsuit in federal district court did not constitute a waiver of immunity at the PTAB.

Enough of this misuse of immunity. Says PTAB. When trolls and lawyers attempt to guard bogus patents by painting them as “tribal” or “public” they not only lie; they also discredit the very system that they rely on. Their colleagues/fellow lawyers ought to discourage that in order to salvage the reputation of their occupation; headlines now associate it with “scams”.
_____
* Watchtroll has, unusually enough, not posted many attacks on PTAB this past week, instead resorting to a lot of puff pieces like Apple hype and other dross. Apple was mentioned in relation to PTAB by David Hricik, who wrote:

Apple has filed a motion with the PTAB, here, asserting that letters from the former CEO of a patent owner to an original panel, a substitute panel, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross constituted improper ex parte communications that warrant reversing the PTAB’s findings in favor of the patentee and, instead, either entering judgment in Apple’s favor or at least granting a new trial.

Boiled down, Apple argues that after the decision to institute was granted, the former CEO (and still “advisor” to the patentee) sent letters to the panel that had granted institution, and those letters were not made of record. That panel was replaced, without explanation to Apple (or anyone from what I can tell), and a substitute panel then took over the matter.

The former CEO then sent more letters — to both the PTAB chief judge and to the substitute panel which, again, were not made of record. (It’s not clear to me that Apple or the patentee knew of the letters at this time.). Other letters to the chief judge, the substitute panel, and even the Secretary of Commerce followed and the letters were not made of record and Apple was not notified (and, again, neither was the patentee, from what I can tell).

Then on September 18, the patentee posted the letters — calling them “independent” — on its web page. Then there were more letters.

The substitute panel in late November in its final written decision and found Apple had not established the claims were unpatentable.

Watchtroll did, however, engage in more PTAB bashing (with headlines like “killing good patents”). Will these people carry on lobbying until the Justicez decide on Oil States? The word “killing” is not appropriate; invalidated patents are the bad ones, not “good patents”. That’s why they get invalidated. Nobody gets killed.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/5/2018: RIP Robin “Roblimo” Miller, Qt 5.11 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Walmart, Bank of America, Allied Security Trust (AST) and the Rush for 'Blockchain' Patents

    The hoarding of patents on novel-sounding code has reached ridiculous levels; very large corporations and even patent trolls arm themselves with such patents, hoping to make returns by means of litigation or an 'arms trade'



  3. Stupid Blogs, Stupid Lawsuits, and Stupid Patents

    The stupidity of the patent microcosm, which would like to see everything in the world patented and which would gleefully smear or even sue its critics (the EFF was sued several times for libel over its "Stupid Patent of the Month" series)



  4. Perpetuating the Big Lie That Unitary Patent (UPC) is About to Kick Off

    The (in)famous old lie about UPC being "just around the corner" is still being circulated, mainly if not only by patent law firms which stand to benefit from a litigation Armageddon in Europe



  5. EPO Validation in Former French Colonies That Have Zero European Patents

    The strategy of the EPO seems to be centered around the interests of Benoît Battistelli and his political career rather than that of the EPO; validation deals and dubious 'Inventor Awards' seem to be part of this pattern



  6. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": The Cautionary Tale of SIDRU and Its “Toxic Loans”

    The town where the EPO‘s President (Battistelli) is a deputy mayor has a track record of financial hardship and alleged financial misconduct, attributed to the same financial practices Battistelli has just implemented at the EPO



  7. Links 23/5/2018: DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 and Kata Containers 1.0 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Masking Abstract Patents in the Age of Alice/§ 101 in the United States

    There are new examples and ample evidence of § 101-dodging strategies; the highest US court, however, wishes to limit patent scope and revert back to an era of patent sanity (as opposed to patent maximalism)



  9. PTAB's Latest Applications of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and Obviousness Tests to Void U.S. Patents

    Validity checks at PTAB continue to strike out patents, much to the fear of people who have made a living from patenting and lawsuits alone



  10. France is Irrelevant to Whether or Not UPC Ever Becomes a Reality, Moving/Outsourcing de Facto Patent Examination to European Courts Managed in/Presided by France

    Team UPC is still focusing on France as if it's up for France to decide the fate of the UPC, which EPO insiders say Battistelli wants to be the chief of (the chief, it has already been decided, would have to be a Frenchman)



  11. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": The Emperor’s New Investment Guidelines

    Details about a secret vote to 'gamble' the EPO's budget on "a diversified portfolio managed by external experts"



  12. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": Cautionary Tale for the EPO?

    Preface or background to a series of posts about Battistelli's French politics and why they can if not should alarm EPO workers



  13. Links 22/5/2018: Parrot 4.0, Spectre Number 4

    Links for the day



  14. Chamber of Commerce Lies About the United States Like It Lies About Other Countries for the Sole Purpose of Patent Maximalism

    When pressure groups that claim to be "US" actively bash and lie about the US one has to question their motivation; in the case of the Chamber of Commerce, it's just trying to perturb the law for the worse



  15. Links 21/5/2018: Linux 4.17 RC6, GIMP 2.10.2

    Links for the day



  16. The Attacks on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Have Lost Momentum and the Patent Microcosm Begrudgingly Gives Up

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), reaffirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and now the Supreme Court as well, carries on preventing frivolous lawsuits; options for stopping PTAB have nearly been exhausted and it shows



  17. Software Patenting and Successful Litigation a Very Difficult Task Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

    Using loads of misleading terms or buzzwords such as "AI" the patent microcosm continues its software patents pursuits; but that's mostly failing, especially when courts come to assess pertinent claims made in the patents



  18. António Campinos Will Push Toward a France-Based Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    Frenchmen at EPO will try hard to bring momentum if not force to the Unified Patent Court; facts, however, aren't on their side (unlike Team UPC, which was always on Team Battistelli's side)



  19. In Apple v Samsung Patents That Should Never Have Been Granted May Result in a Billion Dollars in 'Damages'

    A roundup of news about Apple and its patent cases (especially Apple v Samsung), including Intel's role trying to intervene in Qualcomm v Apple



  20. Links 20/5/2018: KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3, FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  21. Aurélien Pétiaud's ILO Case (EPO Appeal) an Early Sign That ILO Protects Abusers and Power, Not Workers

    A famous EPO ‘disciplinary’ case is recalled; it’s another one of those EPO-leaning rulings from AT-ILO, which not only praises Battistelli amid very serious abuses but also lies on his behalf, leaving workers with no real access to justice but a mere illusion thereof



  22. LOT Network is a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    Another reminder that the "LOT" is a whole lot more than it claims to be and in effect a reinforcer of the status quo



  23. 'Nokification' in Hong Kong and China (PRC)

    Chinese firms that are struggling resort to patent litigation, in effect repeating the same misguided trajectories which became so notorious in Western nations because they act as a form of taxation, discouraging actual innovation



  24. CIPU is Amplifying Misleading Propaganda From the Chamber of Commerce

    Another lobbying event is set up to alarm lawmakers and officials, telling them that the US dropped from first to twelfth using some dodgy yardstick which favours patent extremists



  25. Patent Law Firms That Profit From Software Patent Applications and Lawsuits Still 'Pull a Berkheimer' to Attract Business in Vain

    The Alice-inspired (Supreme Court) 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchanged, but the patent microcosm endlessly mentions a months-old decision from a lower court (than the Supreme Court) to 'sell' the impression that everything is changing and software patents have just found their 'teeth' again



  26. A Year After TC Heartland the Patent Microcosm is Trying to 'Dilute' This Supreme Court's Decision or Work Around It

    IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O want more litigation (especially somewhere like the Eastern District of Texas), so in an effort to twist TC Heartland they latch onto ZTE and BigCommerce cases



  27. Microsoft Attacks the Vulnerable Using Software Patents in Order to Maintain Fear and Give the Perception of Microsoft 'Safety'

    The latest patent lawsuits from Microsoft and its patent trolls (which it financially backs); these are aimed at feeble and vulnerable rivals of Microsoft



  28. Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

    Links for the day



  29. Système Battistelli (ENArque) at the EPO is Inspired by Système Lamy in Saint-Germain-en Laye

    Has the political culture of Battistelli's hometown in France contaminated the governance of the EPO?



  30. In Australia the Productivity Commission Decides/Guides Patent Law

    IP Australia, the patent office of Australia, considers abolishing "innovation patents" but has not done so yet (pending consultation)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts