Tag Archives: Inter Partes Review

Is Inter Partes Review Unconstitutional?

By Stephen Hall

iStock_000019576650Large“Adjudication:”  a proceeding which leads to a judicial decision

On November 27, 2017, the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning a challenge to the most frequent form of patent challenges before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), known as inter partes review (“IPR”).  The USPTO is a federal agency empowered by Congress to grant patents and perform other functions related to patents.  Its other functions include the authority to review previously granted patents and determine whether they were, in fact, validly granted.

In some cases, the need for review may occur because material not found by the patent examiner would have prevented the patent from being granted in the first place.  With all the millions of patents, published applications and journal articles in this country and worldwide, as well as other written publications, industry standards and activities that could affect the right to a patent, there is no system of patent searching guaranteed to uncover every relevant item.  Thus, for several decades, Congress has authorized Continue reading Is Inter Partes Review Unconstitutional?

IPR Statistics Suggest an Interesting Recent Trend

By Stephen C. Hall

Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) is a trial proceeding established by the America Invents Act that started in September 2012. Conducted before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“Board”), IPR allows an interested party to challenge claims in a patent for obviousness or lack of novelty, based on prior art patents or printed publications. Generally, IPR involves two steps: (a) filing a petition, which may (or may not) be followed by the patent owner’s response, and the Board rendering an “institution decision” within six months of petition; then (b) if the Board decides to institute IPR, it should in most cases enter its final determination within one year of institution. To institute an IPR (step “a” above), the Board must find that a reasonable likelihood exists that the petitioner would prevail with respect to at least one challenged claim.

Using IPR, petitioners have challenged thousands of claims contained in hundreds of issued patents. As discussed below, data existing on the USPTO website suggests a Continue reading IPR Statistics Suggest an Interesting Recent Trend