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Brian A. Jones focuses his practice on patent litigation and prosecution. He has industry experience in electronic circuit design, systems integration and quality assurance, spanning the industries of wireless communication systems, electronic control systems and automotive electronics. Brian has represented clients in federal district court actions, inter partes reviews before the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Section 337 investigations of the US International Trade Commission, and appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Read Brian A. Jones's bio.

Addressing whether a party can waive a challenge to the constitutionality of Administrative Patent Judges’ (APJs’) appointment, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the issue is non-jurisdictional and therefore waivable. Ciena Corp. v. Oyster Optics, LLC, Case No. 19-2117 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 28, 2020) (O’Malley, J.) (reissued as precedential May 5, 2020).

Continue Reading “Waive” Goodbye to Belated Argument that Administrative Patent Judges’ Appointment is Unconstitutional

Addressing the scope of review of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) application of the one-year time bar of 35 USC § 315(b) in deciding whether to institute an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding, the Supreme Court of the United States held that application of the time bar by the PTAB is nonappealable. Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Techs., LP, Case No. 18-916 (Supr. Ct. Apr. 20, 2019) (Ginsburg, Justice) (Gorsuch, Justice, joined in part by Sotomayor, Justice, dissenting). The Court explained that an appeal based on the PTAB’s application of the time bar for filing an IPR petition is prohibited under 35 USC § 314(d), which states that the PTAB’s decision on institution “shall be final and nonappealable.”

Continue Reading PTAB Time Bar Application in Instituting IPR Proceedings Nonappealable

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) designated an appeal decision as precedential, holding that an examiner may apply a lower standard for establishing public availability of a prior art reference as compared to a petitioner in an inter partes review (IPR). Ex parte Grillo-López, Appeal No. 2018-006082 (USPTO Jan. 31, 2020) (Chang, APJ) (denying request for rehearing) (designated as precedential on April 7, 2020). The PTAB determined that the examiner had sufficiently established a prima facie case that a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) transcript qualified as a printed publication, even though the PTAB had previously found that a petitioner in an IPR proceeding had failed to qualify the same FDA transcript as a printed publication. The PTAB held that during prosecution, the examiner must establish only a prima facie case, and the burden then shifts to the applicant to come forward with rebuttal evidence to overcome the prima facie case. This differs from an IPR proceeding, where the petitioner must come forward with sufficient arguments to show, at the institution stage, a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on the unpatentability of the challenged claims.

Continue Reading PTAB Sets Double Standard for Qualifying Reference as “Printed Publication”

Addressing the scope of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“Board”) discretion under 35 U.S.C. § 325(d) to deny institution, the Board designated three opinions as precedential or informative.

Continue Reading PTAB Designates Two Opinions Precedential and One Opinion Informative, Further Clarifying the Scope of the Board’s Discretion under § 325(d) to Decline Institution

Notwithstanding the jurisdictional nature of the time bar under § 315(b), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit determined that a party may waive a time bar argument if it failed to raise the issue with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) during the inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. Acoustic Tech. Inc. v. Itron Networked Solutions, Inc., Case No. 19-1061 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 13, 2020) (Reyna, J.).

Continue Reading Federal Circuit Confirms Time Bar Under § 315(b) Is Waivable

Addressing the proper test for shifting fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a district court erred when it shifted fees to the accused infringer because the district court found that only a series of events was exceptional but did not determine that the “case ” was exceptional. Intellectual Ventures LLC v. Trend Micro Inc., Case No. 19-1122 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 19, 2019) (Stoll, J.). Because it was unclear what standard the district court used when making its “exceptional case” determination, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded for an analysis under the proper legal standard.

Continue Reading Determination of ‘Exceptional’ Under § 285 Must Be Made at the ‘Case’ Level