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

04.04.18

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Breaks More Records, This Time Number of Post-Grant Review Petitions

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 9:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest statistics (March) from PTAB show that things are going well and only on rare occasions does the Federal Circuit (CAFC) stand in the way; the US Supreme Court is expected to defend PTAB very soon

THE improved quality of patents at the USPTO gives reasons for optimism; the same cannot be said about the EPO unless António Campinos changes something fast (Battistelli won’t change a thing). Imagine the EPO adopting a PTAB-like mechanism (it already has the Boards of Appeal) that can eliminate thousands of patents rather quickly, especially patents granted in a hurry throughout the Battistelli era. Oppositions already work to that effect, but not post-grant.

Anyway, this latest PTAB round-up says in the summary: “Patent Trial & Appeal Board developments in March included the most post-grant review petitions filed in a month, a predicted switch to the Philips standard, two informative decisions involving 35 USC § 325(d), and the Board instituting trial to a derivation petition for the first time” (also remember that the USPTO recently raised the price of PTAB IPRs; evidently that wasn’t enough to discourage/slow down the constant growth in petitions which tackle bad patents, i.e. those wrongly granted by the USPTO).

Are PTAB IPRs going away? No way!

Even a patent maximalist like Dennis Crouch does not think so. Hours ago he wrote (again): “We all await the outcome of Oil States. Conventional wisdom is that the case will be a dud and that the Supreme Court confirm the viability of Inter Partes Review proceedings.”

Oil States‘s outcome won’t be much of a surprise. So the anti-PTAB brigade is looking for other strategies by which to slow down PTAB. Here’s Michael Borella with another cherry-picked opinion (already mentioned by Crouch and Kluwer Patent Blog earlier this week).

CAFC judges did, in this particular case, decide against a decision by PTAB, which is rare. Judge Newman, however, found that PTAB did its job properly. Borella put it like this:

Apple argued before the PTAB that “because the mobile unit transmitters in Natarajan operated in low duty cycle RF bursts, it would have been plainly obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art to have the base station operate in an analogous manner.” Apple further contended that “because the base and mobile stations have the same physical structure, it would have been no more than using a known technique to improve similar devices in the same way.”

[...]

Writing in dissent, Judge Newman took issue with two aspects of the decision. First, she would have found that the PTAB did explain its reasoning regarding the obviousness of the claims in a sufficient fashion. Essentially, Judge Newman believed that the PTAB incorporated parts of Apple’s arguments by reference, and that these arguments were uncontested by DSS. (At the end of the day, the majority seems to object to the PTAB’s conclusion that the duty cycle of the mobile units would also work for the base station, while Judge Newman found such an outcome plausible.) Second, she asserted that the proper remedy for finding the PTAB’s reasoning to be inadequate was to vacate and remand the case for further review by the PTAB.

While the decision/opinion does not bode well for PTAB, it’s actually a rarity, but this is the kind of thing that the anti-PTAB brigade will highlight ad infinitum, as usual.

There’s meanwhile this new report (less than a day old) about “seeking to have seven of Nasdaq’s patents canceled.” Notice the part about Alice:

Nasdaq Inc. is trying to claim that it invented the concept of options trading, rival Miami International Holdings Inc. said in a series of petitions seeking to have seven of Nasdaq’s patents canceled.

[...]

Miami International is trying to use the patent office to dispense with an infringement lawsuit that Nasdaq filed against it in September in federal court in Trenton as it can be faster, easier and cheaper to invalidate a patent through the review board than in court.

In each of the seven petitions filed in with the review board in the past week, Miami International said the patents cover an “abstract idea” and cites a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has led to invalidity rulings against hundreds of software patents.

Those are software patents or patents on business methods. The only thing going in their favour is the number of them; it’s much greater a burden when one needs to invalidate all seven of them.

It remains to be seen how many of these ‘financial’ patents PTAB will render worthless in the coming years. Earlier today there was a self-promotional ‘article’ from Martin M. Zoltick and Mark T. Rawls (Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC). These lawyers love talking about blockchains, Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in general. It’s a lot of contemporary hype and all they can drone on about is patents, trademarks etc. Here they are name-dropping “blockchain”, “FinTech” and all kinds of other names/words:

If the past is any indication of what is to come, those who invest in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, just to name a few, had better buckle-up. It is surely going to be a wild ride as more cryptocurrencies emerge and the growing array of use cases blows hot and cold. The extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies themselves does not appear to be a phenomenon of the patents directed to the technologies underlying these digital currencies and their ecosystems. As the flurry of innovation continues and the cryptocurrency ecosystem becomes increasingly more mainstream, expect to see exponential growth in the cryptocurrency and blockchain-related patent landscape as financial services companies, FinTech startups and a growing number of tech companies from a wide range of industries all vie for a dominant position.

As we’ve been saying for years, all those patents on digital currencies are likely void. GTX Corporation is bullying indie developers/startups using such patents because it knows that they’re poor enough to do anything they can to avoid a court battle (one in which such patents would likely get trashed).

In summary, PTAB remains relevant, its role is expected to soon be cemented by US Justices, and it is actively being used to thwart abusive litigation with abstract patents (typically software patents or patents on business methods).

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 24/9/2018: Linux 4.19 RC5 From Greg Kroah-Hartman, OpenShot 2.4.3 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Reader's Article: Affaire Benalla Strongly Connected to EPO/OEB/EPA and Former President Benoît Battistelli

    A Macron scandal has led French media to finally (and years too late) exploring some of the much more explosive scandals at the EPO, revealing some interesting new details in the process



  3. Language Patent Lawyers Are Using to Warp the Debate and Decrease Public Understanding of Patents

    The patent microcosm, trying to get the public all baffled/confused about the patent system, continues (mis)using words to convey things in misleading ways



  4. USPTO FEES ACT Makes the US Patent Office a Money-Making Machine That Systematically Disregards Patent Quality

    The lingering issues with patent assessment at the US patent office, which unlike US courts isn't quite so impartial an actor (it benefits more from granting than from rejecting)



  5. Guest Post on Ronan Le Gleut and Benalla at the French Senate (in Light of Battistelli's Epic Abuses)

    Thoughts on the possibility that Battistelli will belatedly be held accountable for his abuses, knowing that a senator representing French Citizens residing Abroad comes from the EPO



  6. A Lot of US Patents Are Entirely Bogus, But Apple Was Willing to Pay for Them

    Apple's resistance to Qualcomm's patent aggression was preceded by very heavy ("thermonuclear" by Steve Jobs' description/words) patent wars against Android and even legitimisation of clearly bogus software patents from Amazon



  7. 'Owning' Nature, Thanks to Patent Insanity and People Who Profit From That

    Questionable patents on things that always existed and are merely being explained or reassembled; those sorts of patents typically serve to merely discredit the patent system and courts too increasingly reject such patents (e.g. SCOTUS on Mayo Collaborative Services and Myriad Genetics, Inc.)



  8. Patents Stranger Than Fiction and 'Protection' From Fictional Things

    Fictional things are being treated like "inventions" and insurance companies now look to exploit fear of fictional things (man-made concepts), such as ownership of mere ideas or words



  9. Benoît Battistelli Refuses to Talk to the Media About Bringing Firearms to the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli's highly aggressive approach has attracted the attention of French media; Battistelli has reportedly refused to comment on that matter, knowing that he lacks a defense (same thing happened after he had hauled millions of EPO euros to his other employer)



  10. Patent Law Firms Have Become More Like Marketing Departments With an Aptitude for Buzzwords

    What we're observing, without much reluctance anymore, is that a lot of patent lawyers still push abstract software patents, desperately looking for new trendy terms or adjectives by which to make these seem non-abstract



  11. Interlude: The Need to Counter Misinformation From the Patent and Litigation 'Industry'

    24,500 posts reached; so we pause and reflect, seeing that many sites/blogs of patent maximalists gradually ebb away



  12. Advocacy of the Unitary Patent System Has Become Almost Identical to the 'Leave' (Brexit) Campaign

    The charades of Team UPC carry on in Kluwer Patent Blog — a blog which for a very long time served no purpose other than Unified Patent Court (UPC) advocacy



  13. Open Invention Network is Rendered Obsolete in the Wake of Alice and It's Not Even Useful in Combating Microsoft's Patent Trolls

    Changes at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in US courts' outcomes may have already meant that patent trolls rather than software patents in general are a growing threat, including those that Microsoft is backing, funding and arming to put legal pressure on GNU/Linux (and compel people/companies to host GNU/Linux instances on Azure for patent 'protection' from these trolls)



  14. Bogus Patents Which Oughtn't Have Been Granted Make Products Deliberately Worse, Reducing Innovation and Worsening Customers' Experience

    How shallow patents — or patent applications that no patent office should be accepting — turn out to be at the core of multi-billion-dollar cases/lawsuits, with potentially a billion people impacted (their products made worse to work around such questionable patents)



  15. EPO is Like a Patent Litigation (Without Actual Trial) Office, Not a Patent Examination Office

    Examination of patent applications isn't taken seriously by an office whose entire existence was supposed to be about examination; bureaucracy at the top of this office has apparently decided that the sole goal is to create more demand (i.e. lawsuits) for the litigation 'industry'



  16. Philippe Cadre From the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) Wants to Join António Campinos

    Yet another example of INPI's creeping influence if not 'entryism' at the EPO and this time too patent quality isn't a priority



  17. Links 22/9/2018: Mesa 18.2.1, CLIP OS, GPL Settlement in Artifex/First National Title Insurance Company

    Links for the day



  18. Links 21/9/2018: Cockpit 178, Purism 'Dongle'

    Links for the day



  19. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  20. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  21. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  22. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  24. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  25. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  26. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  27. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  29. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  30. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)


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