In an unprecedented PTAB decision involving Spectrum Solutions LLC (“Spectrum”) (Petitioner) and Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics (“Longhorn”) (Patent Owner), the Board found all five challenged patents invalid and imposed sanction against patent owner Longhorn for failure to meet the duty of candor and fair dealing. The board determined that Longhorn selectively disclosed testing results to support its claim construction and misled its technical expert with incomplete laboratory data, thereby failed to meet its duty of candor and fair dealing in its actions before the Board. The claims and substitute claims in all five patents asserted by Longhorn were unpatentable due to its sanctionable misconduct. Longhorn was also ordered to provide Spectrum compensatory expenses including attorney fees. On one hand, it is a reminder that duty of candor is a continuing obligation that cannot be ignored even during the IPR proceeding. On the other hand, it does raise the question whether the PTAB has the authority to invalidate a patent for misconduct.
In order to prepare and prosecute utility, design, and plant patent matters in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO” or “Office”), the USPTO requires practitioners to demonstrate possession of the legal, scientific, and technical qualifications necessary to render valuable service to clients. See 37 CFR 11.7(a)(2)(ii).
Cell therapy products in the U.S. are estimated to be worth approximately $4.5 billion currently and expected to grow to over $30 billion in the next ten years. As market value increases litigation is bound to heat up.
Recently, Fate Therapeutics and the Whitehead Institute sued Shoreline Biosciences in the Southern District of California for allegedly infringing six patents directed to composition and methods relating to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) directly under 35 U.S.C. §§ 271(a) and (g), and for inducing infringement. Fate’s infringement theories included both literal infringement and infringement under the Doctrine of Equivalents. The court granted summary judgment of noninfringement to Shoreline for all asserted claims.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently addressed the issue of “analogous prior art,” a patent law doctrine fundamental to the legal determination of whether a patent is invalid as obvious over the prior art. The decision illustrates the importance of carefully considering whether asserted prior art is analogous to the challenged patent, as the use of non-analogous art can result in dismissal of any obviousness argument based on that art.
On July 24, 2023, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced updated procedures for the interim Director Review (DR) of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions. The updated procedures could help patent practitioners manage costs by providing a new mechanism for recourse following PTAB decisions.
On April 20, 2023, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced several proposed rule changes that would have an impact on patent applicants, patent holders, and patent challengers. A common thread running through several of the rule changes is the requirement of increased disclosure from litigating parties, including disclosures of related parties, ownership interests, and all settlement agreements (and any related or collateral agreements) between the parties. While the proposed rule changes are subject to a public comment period, if implemented, they would (i) introduce several major changes to the process of challenging patents before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and (ii.) significantly increase USPTO administrative fees.
The answer? Not much, in itself. If one patent is good, 132 is probably fine too. That was Judge Easterbrook’s reasoning in a recent decision addressing indirect purchasers’ antitrust challenge to AbbVie’s so-called “patent thicket” of 132 patents around the blockbuster drug Humira, arguing the sheer number of patents blocked…
Recently, in Google LLC v. Ikongoro Tech. LLC, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board” or “PTAB”) instituted inter partes review after it had previously denied the institution of such a review due to the pendency of related district court litigation in the Western District of Texas—a case which was subsequently transferred to the Northern District of California by the Federal Circuit granting mandamus relief. The Board’s decision casts light on the interplay between the PTAB’s discretion to deny institution of inter partes review and the increased focus on transfers out of the Western District of Texas.