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04.05.18

Oil States is a Lost Cause for Enemies of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB); Now They Push Droplets v Iancu Instead

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has been restoring patent sanity in recent years and judges must adapt. The Eastern District of Texas (EDTX, or TXED below) remains the outlier.

Docket Navigator chart
Image credit/original: Docket Navigator

Summary: The latest PTAB news and updates from courtrooms where frivolous litigation with low-quality patents carries on

THE Oil States decision will come soon (Supreme Court 2018). It’ll likely be a depressing one for the patent microcosm, or one they’ll attempt to spin. For the USPTO it’ll mean more of the same, i.e. PTAB correcting and affirming examiners.

“The Oil States decision will come soon (Supreme Court 2018).”The anti-PTAB brigade has been SLAPPing us recently; it does not wish to be criticised. The anti-PTAB brigade also tries to bring another anti-CAFC or anti-PTAB or anti-IPR case to the Supreme Court (in essence defending bogus patents from scrutiny). Yesterday Patently-O promoted Droplets v Iancu, heralding this “new petition for writ of certiorari questions the extent that the Federal Circuit can affirm a PTAB IPR decision on grounds different than those relied upon by the Board.”

Seems like nitpicking. Why should judges not be able to go further than PTAB? If a patent is deemed bogus, then so be it, based on the underlying evidence. What ultimately matters is patent justice. To lawyers, however, justice isn’t what’s most profitable, hence their PTAB bashing is likely to carry on.

“What ultimately matters is patent justice. To lawyers, however, justice isn’t what’s most profitable, hence their PTAB bashing is likely to carry on.”Yesterday we saw Robert Jain from Unified Patents announcing a new milestone, having disarmed a patent troll called Pen-One. “On April 4, 2018,” he wrote, “the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 7,281,135 owned and asserted by Pen-One Acquisition Group, LLC, an Equitable IP subsidiary and a well-known NPE. The ’135 patent, directed to an identity verification system, has been asserted against such companies as Apple and Samsung.”

Samsung and Apple are targeted here, so they have a common/shared interest in this IPR (this troll is a problem they have in common). But that does not mean that they’re friends. The latest in the patent battles of Apple (Apple Inc. v Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al) was also noted yesterday by Docket Navigator, which wrote:

The court granted in part defendant’s motion to exclude the testimony of plaintiff’s technical experts because their application of the “designer of ordinary skill in the art” and “ordinary observer” standards to identify the relevant article of manufacture was improper.

Incidentally — and also quite exceptionally — Docket Navigator publishes some new charts. It shows how different patent (and beyond) judges decide on cases and included is the “reprehensible” (politicians call him that) Gilstrap, named on the left among names/breakdown of judges. Mind the IPR barcharts.

“The US patent system, if properly reformed by AIA/PTAB, would decrease the number of lawsuits (as well as lawyers) and hence discourage such unfortunate incidents that harm small businesses the most.”Regarding another new patent decision, Docket Navigator spoke of a “Parade of Horribles”, citing the text from ATEN International Co., Ltd. v Uniclass Technology Co., Ltd. et al.

It’s a jury deciding, i.e. people who are likely nontechnical:

Following a jury trial, the court denied defendants’ motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 because plaintiff’s litigation positions and tactics as a whole were not exceptional.

What’s at stake here is who pays for the lawyers, but as usual the lawyers don’t need to care all that much. They just do the billing, so plaintiffs and defendants both lose money; the question is, who loses more money.

The US patent system, if properly reformed by AIA/PTAB, would decrease the number of lawsuits (as well as lawyers) and hence discourage such unfortunate incidents that harm small businesses the most.

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