The early indications from 2015 point towards nothing stopping the momentum behind the increasingly popular PTAB proceedings.
The USPTO’s latest figures reveal that 115 PTAB petitions were filed in January this year, 100 of which were IPRs. While the IPR figure was down on the 177 filed in December, it was up greatly on the 60 filed in January last year.
And February already looks set to blow last year’s figure out of the water. Some 60 IPR petitions had already been filed this month by the end of February 9, putting it ahead of the 54 IPRs filed in all of February 2014.
In addition, the Federal Circuit ultimately decided to implicitly endorse current PTAB practices at the end of January in its first opinion on an IPR appeal. Its in Re Cuozzo Speed Technologies decision affirmed the PTAB’s final determination, and found no error in the Board’s claim construction under the broadest reasonable interpretation standard, the Board’s obviousness determination and the Board’s denial of Cuozzo’s motion to amend.
Observers concluded that the Federal Circuit had approved the basic framework for conducting PTAB proceedings, although a strongly worded dissent from Judge Pauline Newman did provide some pointers for future battle grounds over PTAB proceedings. The decision will provide certainty for PTAB practitioners.
In addition, the institution and invalidation rates – while down from the “death-squad” days of 2013 –are still high enough that the PTAB is by far the best shot for someone looking to get a patent invalidated.
Managing IP recently analysed which petitioners, patent owners and law firms were most active in 2014. Apple was the most-active challenger of patents, Zond was the most-targeted patent owner, and Fish & Richardson was the law firm involved in the most proceedings. You can see the full data of the most-active players at the PTAB in 2014 here (non-subscribers will have to take a trial to the website to view).
Aside from crunching the numbers to see which companies did the best in terms of volume, Managing IP also recently included PTAB firm rankings for the first time in our IP Stars guide to the leading IP firms and lawyers, which has just been published online.
You can access the 2015 IP Stars rankings here. To view the United States rankings, choose “United States” from the “Americas” drop down menu. You can then view the PTAB rankings by either scrolling down the page or choosing “PTAB litigation (USPTO)” from the “All practice areas” drop-down menu.
Don't forget: you can keep up with all of Managing IP's PTAB coverage on our dedicated topic page at www.managingip.com/ptab