New Filings : US PTO Litigation Alert™

Anonymous Ex Parte Reexamination Request Filed against Apple Patent, Among the Requests Week of February 3, 2014

Scott Daniels and Cindy Chen | February 10, 2014

An unnamed party has requested ex parte reexamination of Apple’s U.S. Patent RE41,922 which relates to image displays for electronic devices (see ex parte Request No. (5)).   The ‘922 patent was one of two Apple patents that the ITC last year found to be infringed by smartphones and tablets imported by Samsung, specifically by the text-selection feature of those devices. 

Having found infringement, the ITC issued an exclusion order barring importation of infringement products and a cease & desist order prohibiting sale of Samsung’s infringing imports already in the United States.  This past October, the U.S. Trade Representative announced that President Obama did not veto the ITC’s sanctions imposed on Samsung.  The ITC, of course, has no authority to award damages for infringement. 

Parties sometimes resort to ex parte reexamination, as opposed to the more robust inter partes review, as a way of avoiding disclosure of their identity to the patentee. No challenge has yet been filed at the Patent Office against Apple’s second patent found by the ITC to be infringed, U.S. Patent No. 7,912,501. 

Also, as reported last week, Microsoft has requested inter partes review of three additional VirnetX patents (see inter partes review Request Nos. (1), (2) & (3)). 

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Old Era of Post-Grant Examination Ended and New Era Began Sunday Morning

Scott Daniels | September 17, 2012

IP360 is reporting this morning that the first petition under the new post-grant examination provisions of the America Invents Act was filed Sunday – a petition for post-grant review filed by SAP challenging the validity of U.S. Patent No. 6,553,350 owned by Versata.

The petition includes an argument that certain claims are invalid as anticipated by a printed publication – an argument available under the old law.  But the petition also includes a number of assertions that are possible only under the new provisions: that claims are invalid because they recite patent-ineligible subject matter, they lack written description support in the specification, they are indefinite, and they were known in the United States.  There is even an argument that the claims invalid over “admitted prior art” based on the patentee’s infringement allegations.

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