One way to challenge the validity of a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is through a petition for inter partes review (“IPR”). The USPTO Director has delegated responsibility to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) to evaluate such petitions to determine whether to institute review of the challenged patent. The PTAB will only institute review of petitions that show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits. However, even if the petition meets that threshold for review, the PTAB may still deny institution. In fact, the PTAB did just that when denying Cisco Systems Inc.’s (“Cisco”) petitions for IPR challenging the validity of two U.S. Patents owned by Ramot at Tel Aviv University (“Ramot”). Cisco appealed the denial to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
In June 2019, Ramot sued Cisco in the Eastern District of Texas for allegedly infringing its patents. The case is set to go to trial in December 2020. Cisco filed petitions for IPR of the asserted patents in November 2019.
Continue Reading No Right to Appeal Even When IPR Institution Denied on Non-Substantive Grounds