In an appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that although the PTAB erred by instituting review based on a ground not advanced in the petition, the PTAB correctly found the patent at issue was invalid and affirmed the final written decision. Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Google LLC, Case No. 19-1177 (Fed. Cir., Jan. 30, 2020) (Prost, C.J.).

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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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Addressing a panel decision that affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) holding denying institution of an inter partes review (IPR) after an earlier partial institution decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied both a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc over a dissent from Judge Newman. BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. v. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc., Case Nos. 19-1643, -1644, -1645 (Fed. Cir. January 13, 2020) (Newman, J, dissenting).

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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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