Bio/Pharma IPRs: Will Institution Rates Rise in Response to USPTO Initiatives?

Attorneys: Richard D. Kelly and Elissa Sanford
August 12, 2022

When it comes to IPR petitions filed in the Bio/Pharma space, USPTO data tells us that while Bio/Pharma petitions make up only 8% of the total petitions filed for the fiscal year of 2022 (through June 30, 2022), there is a high intuition rate for those Bio/Pharma petitions. According to USPTO statistics, 80% of the Bio/Pharma cases have been instituted so far this year.  Put differently, 59 of the 74 petitions reviewed were subsequently granted.<... Read more

Sure, A Court Can Rewrite Patent Claims. But Can It Change A Disclosure? (Pavo Solutions, Part II)

August 8, 2022

After discussing a court’s ability to rewrite patent claim language in view of the Federal Circuit’s decision in Pavo Solutions v. Kingston Technology (Pavo Solutions, Part I), my post last week noted that there was more to the story, including the issue of whether a court could rewrite a patent’s disclosure. Here are a few thoughts on that issue.<... Read more

Obviousness Must Consider Function / Intended Use of Prior Art Device

Attorney: Derek Lightner, Ph.D.
August 2, 2022

On July 22, 2022, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reversed an examiner’s assertion of obviousness in the case of Ex parte Jaeger (Appeal 2021-002641, USSN 15/559,117). The issue in Jaeger was whether the addition of known element to a prior art device was obvious where the combination was not consistent the purpose / operation of the prior art device.<... Read more

In a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Patentee's IPR Arguments Doom Its Complaint for Patent Infringement

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
June 8, 2022

On June 6, Judge Albright granted Meta Platforms. Inc.’s (Meta) 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Grecia Estate Holdings LLC in part relying on Grecia’s representations in IPR2016-00789 (IPR) to the PTAB that successfully defeated institution of the IPR.<... Read more

PTAB Overrules Routine Experimentation / Optimization Obviousness Finding

Attorney: Derek Lightner, Ph.D.
May 18, 2022

The Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) recently overruled an examiner’s finding of obviousness of claims premised on a “missing” moisture permeability feature in a composition designed for moisture absorption.<... Read more

The PTAB Weighs in on Obviousness-Type Double Patenting and PTA

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
May 16, 2022

Congress sought to keep Patent Office delays from prejudicing a patentee by granting PTA to compensate for the Patent Office delays. While one might expect the Patent Office to work mightily to avoid administrative delays in prosecution, today the average time to first action is about 17 months, three months longer than the target of 14 months adding on average 3 months to the patent term. Other delays during prosecution add still more time to the PTA period.  Since these are averages, the additional time can be significant. In pharmaceuticals the PTA added for delays of even a few months can mean hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.  The two district courts have addressed this issue where an ODP defense is raised against the later expiring patent because of PTA and came to different conclusions. See Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. v. Sandoz, Inc., 533 F. Supp. 3d 170 (D.N.J. 2021) (the judicially created ODP does not trump the statutory PTA) and MitsubishiMagna Elecs., Inc. v. TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., No. 12-cv-654, 2015 WL 11430786 (W.D. Mich. Dec. 10, 2015) (ODP trumps PTA).<... Read more

Written Description and Creating Ranges from Examples

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
April 7, 2022

At the close of last year, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the PTAB in IPR2019-00329 that a claimed range created from examples was not patentable because it lacked written description in the application as filed. In its decision the PTAB “second guessed” an examiner’s ex Parte decision that the claimed range had written description in the application as filed.  Written description was at issue because the patent challenged, U.S. Patent 9,687,454 (‘454), filed January 6, 2016, needed benefit of its parent application serial number 12/537,571 published on February 10, 2011, as 2011/0033541 (‘541), to avoid ‘541 from being prior art otherwise, most of the ‘454 claims were anticipated by ‘541. The ‘454 claim 1 is directed to a mucoadhesive film comprising about 40 wt.% to about 60 wt.% of a water-soluble polymeric matrix and claim 7 to a range of from about 48.2 wt.% to about 58.6 wt.%. Neither range was found in the ‘454 patent as filed; the claims were added during prosecution. The ‘454 describes the film as “may contain any desired level of self-supporting film forming polymer”; in “one embodiment, the film forming composition” may be at least 25 weight per cent of the composition; alternatively, at least 50 weight per cent of the composition. No upper limit was described.<... Read more

Plural Unreduced Selections with Unpredictable Effect Not Necessarily Routine Optimization

Attorney: Derek Lightner, Ph.D.
March 8, 2022

The PTAB in Ex parte Sturgis (Appeal 2021-002857; USSN 15/696,282) reversed an examiner’s obviousness rejection of claims for failing to sufficiently establish obviousness via routine optimization The reversal was mainly based upon plural selections being claimed without any particular directions on choosing in the prior art and an unpredicted effect based on the cited art.<... Read more

Markush Language Distinguishes over Multi-Component Solvent

Attorney: Derek Lightner, Ph.D.
January 31, 2022

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) overturned the examiner’s obviousness finding in Ex parte PETER KAPITAN and ALEXANDER SAJTOS (Appeal 2021-001272; USSN 14/409,522) substantially on the basis of a recitation of “… the solvent … is an alkane selected from a group consisting of pentane and hexane” distinguishing over the prior art description of the optional use of petroleum ether, with evidence that petroleum ether is not simply pentane or hexane.<... Read more

Supplementing Element 1 with Element 2 Lacking the Claimed Function is not Obvious

Attorney: Derek Lightner, Ph.D.
December 27, 2021

In Ex parte FRANÇOIS ROY, JONATHAN CLOUTIER, and VINCENT TANGUAY (Appeal 2021-000050; USSN 13/966,396), the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) recently reversed an examiner’s finding of obviousness in a rather involved rejection based upon four references, which hinged upon the presence of “thermofusable glue droplets providing a mechanical retention force to retain the wood strips in an interconnected spaced-apart relationship.”<... Read more