Archive for the ‘Special Dispatch’ Category

SAP Files Ex Parte Reexamination Request using Prior Art from Ongoing Litigations

Monday, May 6th, 2013

As you may recall from earlier posts, on September 16, 2012, SAP filed a petition for review of U.S. Pat. No. 6,553,350 to begin the first covered business method patent review (CBM2012-00001) under the America Invents Act.  To advance its PTAB trial date, SAP agreed to limit its argument to 35 U.S.C. 101 challenges set forth in its petition and not assert its prior art  challenges in the CBM.

The PTAB trial was held on April 17, 2103, and we are awaiting a decision in that trial.  The Federal Circuit also just decided the appeal in the parallel district court action last week.  The Federal Circuit affirmed the infringement and damages findings by the lower court, but remanded for correction of the injunction ordered by the lower court.

SAP recently filed papers in the PTAB action indicating that it has requested an ex parte reexamination based on its prior art R/3 documentation of the same ‘350 patent.  Ex parte reexamination requests are still prosecuted in the Central Reexamination Unit and using “special dispatch.”  It will be interesting to see if the CRU will be able to expedite these reexaminations in light of the changes brought by the AIA.  One important change being the shift of future inter partes proceedings to the PTAB (legacy inter partes reexaminations are still being completed in the CRU).

AIA Patent Trials Differ from Reexamination

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

In the past few months, I have had discussions with many different stakeholders about how AIA post-grant review differs from conventional reexamination.  AIA patent trials (post-grant review or PGR, inter partes review or IPR, and covered business method patent review or CBM) are substantially different than traditional reexamination.  Some of these differences are summarized in the table below (click on the table to enlarge it):

Other than legacy inter partes reexaminations, the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) is currently only charged with processing ex parte reexaminations.  What remains to be seen is how ex parte reexamination will change as the CRU processes the legacy reexaminations and its docket frees up.

Reexamination Practice: One Size Does Not Fit All

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I attended a reexamination roundtable at the Patent Office last week where ideas for reexamination reform were proposed.  The Patent Office listened and took notes.  I thought it was a very productive meeting overall.  As the various speakers presented their comments to the questions posed by the Office, it reminded me how everyone views reexamination differently: 

  • Patent Owners who are trying to enforce their patents want a fair system that will not amount to a tool of delay and thin or meritless attacks on their patents;
  • Businesses and in-house counsel need a predictable system that can be used to challenge inferior patents and nuisance assertions;
  • Judges need to know that if a case is stayed pending reexamination, there will be a reasonably expedient final decision that can be used for the litigation;
  • Examiners need time and tools to help process unusually large and complicated reexaminations; and
  • The Patent Office needs clear rules that are fair to both sides, and can reach finality of a reexamination with special dispatch.

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