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David Mlaver counsels clients in a wide range of intellectual property litigation matters. He has substantial research experience, including investigating dendritic cell immunity, the mechanism of organization of membrane proteins in lens fiber cells and the genetic correlation of kidney-related diseases. Read David Mlaver's full bio.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit imposed limits on what the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is authorized to do by statute when dealing with challenged claims in an inter partes review (IPR) that it finds to be too indefinite to apply prior art. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc. v. Prisua Eng’g Corp., Case Nos. 19-1169, -1260 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 4, 2020) (Bryson, J).

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In a precedential opinion, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) held that, for institution of an inter partes review (IPR) based on a printed publication, the petitioner must establish a reasonable likelihood that the reference is a printed publication. Hulu, LLC v. Sound View Innovations, LLC, Case No. IPR2018-01039 (PTAB Dec. 20, 2019) (Boalick, CAPJ).

Hulu petitioned for IPR, challenging a Sound View patent and asserting obviousness over a prior art reference textbook by Dougherty. Sound View filed a preliminary response challenging Hulu’s showing that Dougherty was publicly available before the filing date of the challenged patent. The PTAB denied institution, finding insufficient evidence that Dougherty was publicly accessible.


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PATENTS / PTO ATTORNEY’S FEES

In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is not entitled to recover its attorney’s fees in an appeal to a district court from an adverse decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) under 35 USC § 145. Peter v. NantKwest, Inc., Case No. 18-801 (Supr. Ct. Dec. 11, 2019) (Sotomayor, Justice).

The question posed in this case was:

[W]hether such “expenses” [in § 145 proceedings] include the salaries of attorney and paralegal employees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

The answer was a resounding “no.”


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