Scott Daniels | November 13, 2009
Facebook has filed its second reexamination request attacking the validity of U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761. Late last year, the owner of the ‘761 patent, Leader Technologies, had sued Facebook in Delaware for infringement.
Today’s inter partes request asserts 10 substantial new questions of patentability (SNQs) based on references that were not cited or considered during the original ‘761 prosecution.
Facebook’s earlier request sought ex parte reexamination of the ‘761 claims, presenting three SNQs. Reexamination based on each of the stated SNQs was ordered by the PTO on September 25.
On October 21, 2009, Facebook moved to stay the District Court case, citing its earlier ex parte request and its intent to file today’s inter partes request.
This case demonstrates the possibility of filing multiple reexamination requests, including a combination of ex parte and inter partes requests. Facebook’s stay motion indicated that the second request was motivated by claim construction arguments asserted by Leader, presumably that the breadth of Leader’s claim constructions made the new references more relevant.