On June 10, 2019, the Supreme Court held that a federal agency is not a “person” who can file a petition for review of a patent under one of the three new proceedings created by the America Invents Act (“AIA”).  Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service, 587 U.S. ____, 2019 WL 2412904, at *3 (U.S. June 10, 2019) (“Return Mail“).  Specifically, the Court held that federal agencies cannot file a petition for inter partes, post-grant, or covered business method review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) (collectively, “PTAB proceedings”).  Id.
Continue Reading

This morning, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued its final rule implementing district court-style claim construction at the PTAB, replacing the “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard.  The official text of the rule will publish in the Federal Register on October 11, 2018, in final form.  The new rule is not retroactive and will apply to petitions filed on or after the effective date of the final rule, which is Nov. 13, 2018 (i.e., the first federal business day after 30 days from publication). [Note: 30 days from an October 11, 2018 publication falls on Saturday, November 10, 2018, but the PTO’s press release [PDF] reports the effective date as November 13, 2018.]

Continue Reading

On May 8, 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a proposed rulemaking to change the current claim construction standard used in inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and covered business method (CBM) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).  If approved, this change would align the standard applied in claim construction proceedings in the PTAB with the standard applied in District Courts and the International Trade Commission (ITC).  Currently, the PTAB interprets patent claims according to their broadest reasonable interpretation, while District Courts and the ITC apply the ordinary and customary meaning standard set forth in Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc).  This proposed rule would change the claim construction standard applied in all pending IPR, PGR, and CBM proceedings, and not just newly-filed petitions.
Continue Reading