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We Meant It – No Incorporation by Reference

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a sua sponte order regarding the impermissibility of incorporating by reference arguments from one brief into another, especially when doing so causes the brief to exceed the permitted word count. Promptu Sys. Corp. v. Comcast Cable Commc’ns, LLC, Case No. 22-1093 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 16, 2024) (Moore, CJ; Prost, Taranto, JJ.) (per curiam).

On January 11, 2024, the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments in four related cases involving Promptu and Comcast. During oral argument, the Court asked counsel for the appellee to submit a brief within 10 days, totaling no more than 10 pages, to show why he should not be sanctioned for attempting to incorporate by reference multiple pages – almost 2,000 words – of argument from the brief in one case into another, thereby causing the brief to exceed the word limit.

The Federal Circuit recounted that it has “repeatedly held” that incorporating by reference to exceed word count is not permitted, citing its holdings on this issue in Microsoft v. DataTern (2014) and more recently in Medtronic v. Teleflex Life Sciences (2023). Appellee counsel responded that he was unaware of the Microsoft decision until the appellant’s reply brief had already been filed. The Court accepted his assertion but noted with disapproval that the precedential Microsoft decision admonished “the exact same law firm before us now for the exact same behavior,” and that once made aware of the Microsoft decision, counsel did nothing to remedy the impropriety.

Practice Note: The Federal Circuit did not award sanctions against appellate counsel but sternly warned future litigants that it is improper to incorporate by reference arguments from one brief into another unless in compliance with Fed. R. App. P. 28, and that such incorporation is never permitted if it results in exceeding the applicable word limit. The Court stated that going forward, such a violation “will likely result in [an award of] sanctions.”




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PTO Director Requests Input on Patent Trial & Appeal Board Decision Regarding Duty of Candor

On May 3, 2023, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board granted a motion for sanctions brought by Spectrum Solutions LLC against Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics LLC.[1] The resulting sanctions order canceled five Longhorn patents. The Board found that Longhorn failed to meet its duty of candor by selectively and improperly withholding material results inconsistent with its patentability arguments directed to the canceled claims covering chemical compositions, collection systems and methods for biological specimen collection, including preserving biological samples, killing pathogens and preventing nucleic acid degradation. Now, US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) Director Katherine Vidal has initiated sua sponte review of the Board’s sanctions order.

In her order issued October 27, 2023, the Director authorized further briefing by both parties, as well as amicus curiae briefs in response to the Board’s decision and analysis for the Director’s review. The Director particularly seeks input on the following issues in the context of situations where relevant factual evidence has been withheld during an America Invents Act proceeding:

  • Which PTO regulations are implicated? Do such regulations include 37 C.F.R. § 1.56?
  • Is it an appropriate sanction for the Board to deem the claims unpatentable in its written decision? Is such a sanction proportionate to the harm caused by the party, taking into account the integrity of the patent system?
  • What other sanctions are appropriate, either in addition to or in place of applying adverse judgment in a final written decision to deem claims unpatentable?

Amicus briefs (of no more than 20 pages) limited to the issues and questions identified above should be submitted to Director_PTABDecision_Review@uspto.gov no later than four weeks after the October 27, 2023, entry date of the order.

For further details, see Order (Paper 133) in each of the listed IPR proceedings.

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[1] See IPR2021-00847 (US 8,084,443), IPR2021-00850 (US 8,293,467), IPR2021-00854 (US 8,669,20), IPR2021-00857 (US 9,212,399) and IPR2021-00860 (US 9,683,256).




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CEO Punches Ticket and Avoids Sanctions Based on Receiving Confidential Documents

Addressing protective order violations, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit largely vacated a district court’s sanctions order. The Court explained that sanctions must comply with due process, barring parties from future litigation should be treated as a “death-penalty” sanction and damages calculations require specific factfinding. CEATS, Inc. v. TicketNetwork, Inc., Case No. 21-40705 (5th Cir. June 19, 2023) (Elrod, Haynes, Willett, JJ.)

To settle a long-running dispute, TicketNetwork licensed several patents from CEATS, a non-practicing patent assertion entity. Several years into the license, all of the licensed patents were invalidated in an unrelated litigation. TicketNetwork promptly stopped paying royalties and filed suit seeking a declaration that the license agreement was unenforceable. CEATS counterclaimed for breach of contract.

During discovery, CEATS requested TicketNetwork’s list of affiliates, which TicketNetwork refused to produce, citing its highly confidential nature. After two discovery hearings, the district court ordered TicketNetwork to produce the affiliate list but specifically prohibited CEATS from using the list for any purpose other than use in the present litigation.

At trial, a jury found that TicketNetwork breached the license, and the district court awarded attorneys’ fees and costs to CEATS. After the jury verdict, CEATS CEO Milford Skane asked his litigation consultants for a “non-confidential” list of TicketNetwork’s affiliates. The consultants gave Skane the confidential list, which was promptly used in settlement negotiations with TicketNetwork. TicketNetwork filed for sanctions, requesting damages from CEATS and an injunction preventing CEATS from suing or seeking licenses from the listed affiliates.

The district court ordered an investigation and, after two years of inquiry and an all-day evidentiary hearing, found that Skane, the consultants and CEATS all violated the protective order and were jointly and severally liable to TicketNetwork. As sanctions, the district court awarded $500,000 in attorneys’ fees (using a billing rate nearly double the one it used when calculating CEATS’s fees) and barred Skane, the consultants and CEATS from suing or seeking licenses from any of TicketNetwork’s affiliates.

The sanctioned parties appealed and argued:

  • The district court violated due process by finding Skane and the consultants personally liable without giving them notice or opportunity to respond.
  • The district court erred by barring the parties without a finding of bad faith.
  • The district court’s damages calculation was unsupported.

The Fifth Circuit began by addressing the sanctions against Skane and the litigation consultants. The Court explained that sanctions require due process, which includes both fair notice and the opportunity to defend against the claim. The Court observed that the first time Skane and the consultants were made aware that they could be sanctioned was in the sanctions order itself—and their only opportunity to defend themselves took place after that order. Given the lack of any advance notice, the Fifth Circuit concluded that due process had not been satisfied and vacated the monetary sanctions against Skane and the consultants.

The Fifth Circuit also vacated the bar preventing Skane, the consultants and CEATS from suing or seeking licenses from any of the affiliates. Core [...]

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Neither Narrow Proposed Claim Construction nor Work Product Claim Justify Withholding Material Factual Information

The Patent Trial & Appeal Board of the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) canceled all challenged claims across five patents because the patent owner failed to meet its duty of candor by selectively and improperly withholding material information that was inconsistent with its patentability arguments. Spectrum Solutions, LLC v. Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics, LLC, IPR2021-00847; -00850; -00854; -00857; -00860 (PTAB May 3, 2023) (Braden, Yang, Derrick, Pollock, APJs) (per curiam) (Braden, APJ concurring).

The Board instituted inter partes reviews (IPRs) against five Longhorn patents based on petitions filed by Spectrum. During the proceedings, Longhorn filed motions to amend, after which the Board issued preliminary guidance suggesting that Spectrum established a reasonable likelihood that the proposed substitute claims were unpatentable. Longhorn engaged Assured Bio Labs (ABL) to conduct biological testing that would support its arguments distinguishing a prior art reference, but Longhorn made attorney work product objections in Spectrum’s ABL depositions and withheld testing data inconsistent with its arguments on the patentability of the original and proposed substitute claims. The Board subsequently allowed additional questioning on certain ABL testing, after which Spectrum filed a motion for sanctions, requesting judgment against Longhorn, a finding that the prior art reference taught the claim limitations and precluding Longhorn from contesting the finding, and an award to Spectrum of compensatory expenses, including attorneys’ fees.

The Board determined that sanctions of adverse judgment as to all challenged claims was appropriate because Longhorn failed to meet its duty of candor and good faith. The Board explained that parties have a duty of candor and good faith before the Board that requires any factual contentions to be well supported by evidence. Parties have “a duty to disclose to the [PTO] all information known . . . to be material to patentability.” (37 C.F.R. §1.56(a).) Information is material to patentability when it is “not cumulative to information already of record or being made of record in the application and . . . it refutes, or is inconsistent with, a position the applicant takes in . . . asserting an argument of patentability.” Taking a position contrary to any known fact while shielding factual information from the Board violates the duty of candor and good faith to the PTO, even if the party may otherwise withhold the information as being immaterial to patentability or privileged.

The Board criticized Longhorn’s proposed claim constructions as too narrow and contrary to the express language in both the original and proposed substitute claims. The Board explained that although Longhorn was free to maintain arguments grounded on Longhorn’s claim constructions, that did not excuse Longhorn’s duty of candor and good faith dealing, including disclosing material information relating to the Board’s preliminary claim constructions. Longhorn could not “simply withhold information” that the PTO would find material to patentability and should instead contest the Board’s constructions at trial.

The Board also explained that Longhorn took an overly strict view of what was material to claim patentability and a lax view as to the duty of candor [...]

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DC Circuit to Disputes Ancillary to Patent Matters: “You Can’t Sit with Us”

For the first time, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit addressed whether appeals of discovery orders ancillary to a patent suit are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The DC Circuit joined its sister circuits and held in the affirmative. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Förderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., Case No. 22-7001 (DC Cir. Feb. 17, 2023) (Srinivasan, Henderson, JJ., Edwards, Sr. J.)

In February 2017, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Förderung commenced a civil action for patent infringement against Sirius XM Radio in the District of Delaware. During discovery, Fraunhofer subpoenaed for deposition Sirius XM’s former Chief of Marketing Officer, My-Chau Nguyen, a resident of Washington, DC.

After Nguyen failed to appear for her deposition, she filed a motion in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to quash the subpoena. Fraunhofer responded with a cross-motion to compel Nguyen’s deposition and a motion for sanctions. The DC district court denied Nguyen’s motion to quash, ordered her to sit for deposition, found her in contempt for failing to appear for deposition in the first instance, and expressed an intent to award sanctions upon Fraunhofer’s submission of documentation reflecting fees and costs. Fraunhofer appealed to the DC Circuit.

The DC Circuit first addressed whether it had jurisdiction to consider Nguyen’s challenge to the district court’s order compelling her deposition in light of the fact that Nguyen’s deposition had already been taken at the time of appeal. The Court held that Nguyen’s challenge was moot because “[n]umerous courts have held that an appeal from enforcement of a subpoena becomes moot once the party has complied with the subpoena.” Therefore, the Court reasoned that it lacked jurisdiction to consider Nguyen’s subpoena challenge because she had already complied with the subpoena at the time of the appeal.

Next, the Court addressed whether it had jurisdiction to assess the merits of Nguyen’s challenge to the district court’s finding of contempt and intent to award sanctions. The Court determined that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction to consider these issues.  The Court explained that because “the underlying litigation between Fraunhofer and Sirius XM in the District of Delaware arises under an Act of Congress relating to patents[,]” Nguyen’s discovery dispute in the DC district court was “ancillary to a patent suit.” The DC Circuit reasoned that only the Federal Circuit is vested with jurisdiction over appeals “arising under . . . any Act of Congress related to patents[.]” (28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1).) Holding similarly to other circuits, the Court concluded that because Nguyen’s discovery dispute was ancillary to a patent matter, the ability to decide the merits of her appeal was solely within the province of the Federal Circuit.

The DC Circuit found that it did not have the authority to transfer Nguyen’s challenges to the Federal Circuit, however. The DC Circuit concluded that it was forced to dismiss rather than transfer because “this appeal could not have been brought [...]

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Tag, You’re It: Sanctions Award Must Reflect Violative Conduct

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit determined that an accused infringer was entitled to a new trial relating to validity issues but still faced sanctions for its continuous disregard of its discovery obligations. ADASA Inc. v. Avery Dennison Corp., Case No. 22-1092 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 16, 2022) (Moore, Hughes, Stark, JJ.)

ADASA owns a patent relating to methods and systems for commissioning radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponders. ADASA sued Avery Dennison for patent infringement, alleging that its manufacture and sale of certain RFID tags infringed ADASA’s patent. Both parties sought summary judgment following discovery. Avery Dennison asserted that the patent was ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101, and ADASA argued that the asserted claims were not anticipated or obvious based on the book RFID for Dummies. The district court granted ADASA’s motion on validity and denied Avery Dennison’s motion for patent ineligibility. Prior to trial, ADASA moved in limine to exclude Avery Dennison’s damages expert’s testimony related to certain licenses, and the district court granted the motion.

At trial, ADASA entered licenses into evidence as part of its damages case and alleged that they reflected lump-sum agreements to practice the asserted patent. The district court declined to include a jury instruction on lump-sum damages and a lump-sum option on the verdict form, observing that Avery Dennison’s expert had not offered a lump-sum damages opinion and concluding that the licenses alone were insufficient for the jury to award lump-sum damages. The jury returned an infringement verdict and awarded ADASA a running royalty of $0.0045 per infringing RFID tag, which resulted in an award of $26.6 million.

In its post-trial motions, Avery Dennison moved for a new trial, arguing it was reversible error for the district court to exclude its damages expert’s testimony and to decline to provide a jury instruction for a lump-sum damages award. Before the district court ruled on its motion, Avery Dennison revealed to ADASA that it had discovered additional previously undisclosed RFID tags in its databases. A subsequent investigation determined that the number of undisclosed tags was more than two billion. Avery Dennison agreed to pay an additional $9.5 million in damages, which corresponded to the royalty rate determined by the jury. ADASA subsequently moved for sanctions. The district court award $20 million in sanctions after finding that Avery Dennison had engaged in protracted discovery failures and a continuous disregard for the seriousness of the litigation and its expected obligations. The sanctions award corresponded to a $0.0025 per-tag rate applied to both the adjudicated and late-disclosed tags. Avery Dennison appealed.

Avery Dennison challenged the district court’s summary judgment rulings, its denial of a new trial and its imposition of sanctions. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s patent eligibility determination, finding that the patent “is directed to a specific, hardware-based RFID serial number data structure designed to enable technological improvements to the commissioning process,” which “is not a mere mental process,” and concluded that the claim was directed to patent-eligible subject matter.

[...]

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Cloudy Skies: PTO Director Finds Abuse and Sanctionable Conduct

The US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) Director issued a precedential opinion finding that filing an inter partes review (IPR) solely to extract payment in a settlement—without the intent to prosecute the IPR to completion—is a sanctionable abuse of process. OpenSky Indus., LLC v. VLSI Tech. LLC, IPR2021-01064 (Oct. 4, 2022) (Vidal, Dir.)

In 2019, VLSI asserted two patents against Intel. In response, Intel filed two IPRs against the allegedly infringed patents, but both IPRs were discretionally denied by the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (Board) based on the advanced stage of the underlying litigation and overlapping issues. The suit proceeded, and a jury awarded VLSI more than $600 million in damages in 2021.

OpenSky Industries was founded two months after the judgment. OpenSky filed a “copycat” IPR petition based on Intel’s previous petitions (including refiling the declarations of Intel’s expert without his knowledge) targeting VLSI’s two allegedly infringed patents. The Board instituted over VLSI’s argument, noting that patentability issues were raised that had not been resolved in the district court case. Initially, OpenSky attempted to settle the IPRs with VLSI, but VLSI refused. OpenSky then reached out to Intel, offering to let Intel collaborate if it agreed to pay a success fee. Intel refused and later filed its own IPR petition and joinder motion. After Intel’s refusal, OpenSky pivoted back to VLSI, offering to “refuse[] to pay [the] expert for time at deposition so [the] expert does not appear at deposition” in return for payment. VLSI reported the scheme to the Board.

Intel was joined as a party to the OpenSky IPR proceeding in June 2022 based on its later-filed petition. Once Intel joined, OpenSky threatened to forego both deposing VLSI’s expert and filing its reply brief unless Intel paid it for its “prior work in the IPR” plus “additional remuneration.” Intel refused. While OpenSky did notice VLSI’s expert, it declined to file a Petitioner Reply brief, forcing Intel to draft the reply. Later, at VLSI’s request (OpenSky missed the request date), oral argument in the proceeding took place before the Board. OpenSky did not meaningfully participate.

While all this was unfolding, the Director sua sponte initiated an investigation to determine “[w]hat actions the Director . . . should take when faced with evidence of an abuse of process or conduct that otherwise thwarts . . . the goals of the Office and/or the AIA.” To begin the investigation, the Director sent discovery requests to each of the three parties. VLSI and Intel complied. OpenSky, by comparison, either incompletely complied with or directly refused each request. Based on those evasions, the Director sanctioned OpenSky for discovery misconduct, applying adverse inferences against OpenSky on each request.

Discovery sanctions in place, the Director moved to the central question: Did OpenSky abuse the IPR process? The Director answered yes.

First, the Director found that OpenSky’s conduct violated its duty of candor and good faith to the Board. In its negotiations with VLSI, OpenSky offered to deliberately sabotage its own petition to hinder Intel. In its negotiations with Intel, OpenSky did [...]

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Bayou Jambalaya: Sanction Motions, Motions to Vacate and Trade Dress Injunctions

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a three-part ruling that affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to vacate as void the judgment based on Rooker-Feldman doctrine because the earlier state and district court decisions were not “inextricably intertwined,” affirmed the district court’s permanent injunction because the district court based it on the Fifth Circuit’s prior decision, and affirmed the denial of a motion for Rule 11 sanctions because the filed motion was different from the Rule-11-mandated notice that was originally served. Uptown Grill, L.L.C. v. Camellia Grill Holdings, Inc., Case No. 21-30639 (5th Cir. Aug. 23, 2022) (Higginbotham, Higginson, Oldham, JJ.)

This dispute arises from three agreements between Uptown Grill and Camellia Grill: the “Cash Sale, the Bill of Sale and the License Agreement. The Cash Sale and Bill of Sale transferred property from Camellia Grill to Uptown Grill. The License Agreement granted a license to Uptown Grill to use certain trademarks and trade dress. In 2011, Camellia Grill sued Uptown Grill for breach of the License Agreement in state court. The state court found that the appellee breached the license and restored to the appellant all rights to the marks. The court did not, however, construe the Bill of Sale.

While the state court litigation was on appeal, Camellia Grill sued Uptown Grill in federal court for trademark infringement. The district court found that the Bill of Sale transferred the trademarks to Uptown Grill before execution of the License Agreement, and therefore found that Camellia Grill’s infringement claim failed. However, the district court also found that the License Agreement limited Uptown Grill’s use of the trade dress to a single restaurant, and the court issued an injunction to that effect. The Fifth Circuit affirmed these findings in a 2019 decision in Uptown Grill, LLC v. Camellia Grill Holdings, Inc., but remanded the issue of whether Uptown Grill’s use of the Camellia grill trade dress at the new restaurant location constituted a breach of the License Agreement.

On remand, Camellia Grill moved for summary judgment that Uptown Grill breached the License Agreement by using the Camellia Grill trade dress after the termination of the License Agreement. Uptown Grill moved for partial summary judgment on the trade dress injunctions, arguing that Camellia Grill lacked standing since Uptown Grill was not using any trade dress at any new locations. Camellia Grill also filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, under which “inferior federal courts do not have the power to modify or reverse state court judgments’ except when authorized by Congress.” Finally, Uptown Grill moved for sanctions against Camellia Grill for “abusive and harassing conduct.” The district court denied both Camellia Grill’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and Uptown Grill’s motion for sanctions. The district court determined that Uptown Grill had breached the License Agreement’s post-termination provisions. The court also decided that the trade dress elements should be limited to that which is protectable under [...]

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Lawyers Scolded but Not Sanctioned for Violating Federal Circuit’s COVID-19 Rules

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided not to impose sanctions for violation of its COVID-19 restrictions on the number of counsel permitted to attend oral argument, citing the involved lawyers’ “earnest remorse.” In re Violation of the Revised Protocols for In-Person Arguments and Related Order, Case No. 22-9000 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 25, 2022) (per curiam).

When the Federal Circuit reopened for in-person oral arguments in September 2021, it continued to restrict public access to the National Courts Building and set out strict protocols governing appearances at oral argument. Under those protocols, only arguing counsel and up to one additional attendee whose presence was necessary to assist or supervise the arguing counsel could attend. All persons entering the building had to sign a form certifying that they were either arguing counsel or assisting or supervising arguing counsel. Arguing counsel had to sign an additional form taking personal responsibility for ensuring that all individuals attending argument with the arguing counsel had read and would comply with the COVID-19 protocols.

Several senior lawyers from one law firm wanted to attend a junior colleague’s oral argument. The junior lawyer moved for permission for two lawyers and two other individuals to attend the oral argument in addition to arguing counsel and the one permitted assistant/supervisor. The Federal Circuit denied the motion. Nonetheless, on the day of argument, four lawyers (each carrying the required form) went to the courthouse and entered the assigned courtroom. The two non-arguing, non-assisting/supervising lawyers sat in the back corner of the courtroom until they were summoned to the front by a deputy clerk and told to leave the courtroom. The lawyers returned to the lobby area and were subsequently escorted out of the building.

The matter was referred to the Federal Circuit’s standing panel on attorney discipline, which ordered all four lawyers to show cause why they should not be sanctioned. The lawyers stated that they had gone to the courthouse notwithstanding the denial of their motion for leave to attend the hearing merely to seek clarification on any potential changed circumstances that might permit their attendance. They also argued that the Court’s COVID-19 restrictions were ambiguous. Finally, they expressed remorse for having violated the rules.

The Federal Circuit criticized the lawyers for trying to attend the oral argument even though their motion for leave to attend was denied. The Court noted that the lawyers might have sought clarification or reconsideration of the denial in writing but stated that it was inappropriate for the lawyers to have sought such clarification or reconsideration in person at the time of the hearing. The Court also called the lawyers’ argument that the protocols were ambiguous “wholly without merit.” Nonetheless, on a finding that the lawyers’ remorse was earnest, the Court decided not to impose sanctions.

Practice Note: Anyone might make an occasional error in judgment. While remorse does not undo such an error, it can at least help prevent sanctions from being imposed. Then again, the Federal Circuit has now [...]

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PTO Outlines New Process to Impose Sanctions for Improper Trademark Practices

As part of its initiative to “protect the integrity of the U.S. trademark register,” the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued a Federal Register notice outlining a new administrative process to address fraudulent or improper trademark submissions.

Under this new process, the commissioner for trademarks can investigate and sanction actions that appear to violate the Trademark Rules of Practice or the PTO website terms of use. The commissioner may initiate an investigation based on information received from examining attorneys or data analytics personnel or via external sources such as letters of protest, the tmscams@uspto.gov mailbox, law enforcement and media reports.

Applications will be removed from examination pending an investigation, and a suspension letter will be issued. All documents associated with this process will be posted in the electronic record, which is available to the public via the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) database.

If the investigation does not result in an administrative order, the application will be removed from suspension and assigned (or reassigned) to the examining attorney for consideration. If, however, the PTO identifies conduct that suggests a potential violation of the PTO rules or the PTO website terms of use, it will issue an order to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed on the relevant parties (e.g., applicants, registrants or any involved third parties). The order will set a response deadline and identify the violation, the relevant application(s) and/or registration(s) and the proposed sanction. Appropriate sanctions may include, for example, terminating the relevant application(s), striking a submission, prohibiting a party from appearing before the PTO in trademark matters or deactivating certain USPTO.gov accounts.

If the PTO issues a sanction order terminating a pending application, the TSDR records will reflect that order in the application prosecution history. Where the order includes the sanction of termination involving a registration that issued before the administrative process was initiated, the PTO will not terminate the registration, but the online TSDR records will be updated to note that the registration was subject to sanctions and such entries may affect the validity of that registration.

The notice also states that “additional actions” may be taken if a sanctioned actor repeatedly violates the PTO rules or the PTO website terms of use.

Comments on the notice are due by January 20, 2022.

Practice Note: This is just one of the many ways the PTO is trying to address fraudulent filings. The PTO recently issued sanctions where it found evidence of fraudulent applications and violations of the PTO Rules of Professional Conduct.




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