Review Requests : US PTO Litigation Alert™

Toshiba Attack on Intellectual Ventures IC Patents, Among the Requests Week of December 30, 2013

Scott Daniels, Cindy Chen and Jerome Bushnell | January 6, 2014

This past March, Intellectual Ventures I and II sued Toshiba for infringement of ten circuits patents, most of them related to memory.  This past week, Toshiba requested inter partes review of two of those ten patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,687,132 and 7,836,371 (see inter partes review Requests No. (2) & (9)).  The ‘132 patent claims “multiple-bank memories and systems” and the ‘371 patent claims an integrated circuit for “testing and debugging of electronic systems, and, in particular, to on-chip circuits for the test and diagnosis of problems in an integrated circuit.” Toshiba has previously requested inter partes review of two other IV patents (IPR2014-00113, and -00201), and will likely be filing further requests against the other six remaining patents, as well.

Apple filed two petitions for inter partes review of a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute patent (see inter partes review Request No. (10)). RPI’s patent relates “to user interfaces … that recognize natural language.”  Apple asks that these new requests be joined with previously filed request IPR2014-00077. RPI has sued Apple for infringement of the patent. 
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TRW Challenges 10 Car Headlight Patents, among the Requests Week of December 16, 2013

Scott Daniels, Cindy Chen and Jerome Bushnell | December 23, 2013

Over a two-day period, TRW requested inter partes review of 10 Magna Electronics patents, filing two requests against three of those patents (see inter partes review Request Nos. (2) and (4) through (15)).  The patents all relate to systems for controlling automobile headlights.  Magna has sued TRW for infringement of the patents in the Western District of Michigan.

Subaru, Toyota and Ford each requested inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 6,324,463 that claims a “system for indicating the operational status and parameters of a cruise control system for use in a human operated vehicle” (see inter partes review Request Nos. (24), (25) & (26)).  The owner of the ‘463 patent, Cruise Control Technologies, has sued 15 car companies for infringement.  Each of the three Requests proposes distinct prior art rejections of the claims.  These filings follow Cruise Control’s amendment of the ‘463 claims in late October in a pending ex parte reexamination.

And Netflix filed requests against four OpenTV patents (see inter partes review Request Nos. (2), (16), (18) & (23)), Ford against two TMC Fuel Injection patents (see inter partes review Request Nos. (21 & (22)), and Apple against a WhitServe patent (see inter partes review Request No. (17)).
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Cisco Seeks Inter Partes Review of Networks Patent, Requests Filed the Week of December 9, 2013

Scott Daniels, Cindy Chen and Jerome Bushnell | December 16, 2013

Cisco petitioned for inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 7,724,879 which claims a method for determining “the availability of a called party before placing a communication from the calling party to the called party” (see inter partes review Request No. (5)).  The ‘879 patent is owned by AIP Acquisition who has sued several large cable companies for infringement.  The ‘879 patent is also the subject of a pending inter partes review, IPR2013-00296, filed by Level 3 Communications and instituted by the APJs on October 31, 2013.

The following inter partes review requests were filed:

  1. IPR2014-00243 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,303,992 entitled COPPER ELECTRODEPOSITION IN MICROELECTRONICS, which is owned by Enthone Inc.  Filed by Moses Lake Industries, Inc. on December 10, 2013.  The ‘992 patent is asserted in the patent infringement action styled Enthone Inc. v. Moses Lake Industries, Inc.(Case No. 1:13-cv-1054-TJM-RFT (N.D.N.Y.)).
  2. IPR2014-00244 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 5,793,302 entitled METHOD FOR SECURING INFORMATION RELEVANT TO A TRANSACTION, which is owned by Leon Stambler.  Filed by Fifth Third Bank on December 9, 2013.  The ‘302 patent is asserted in the patent infringement action styled Leon Stambler v. Fifth Third Bancorp and Fifth Third Bank (Case No. 2:12-cv-675-JRG (E.D. Tex.).  The Federal Reserve had previously petitioned for inter partes review of the ‘302 patent in IPR2013-00341 and IPT2013-00409, to which the present request raises identical issues; and as well the Federal Reserve had previously challenged the other patent at issue in the infringement litigation, U.S. Patent  No. 5,936,541, in IPR2013-00344 and IPR2013-00406.
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Fifty-Three Patents Challenged, Week of December 2, 2013

Scott Daniels and Cindy Chen | December 9, 2013

The number of new patent challenges continues to accelerate – last week saw thirty-two requests for inter partes review, three for post-grant review, and eighteen for ex parte reexamination.  Most notably, Apple, either alone or with one or more co-requesters, attacked six patents owned by either Arendi, THX, or VirnetX (see inter partes review Request Nos. (1), (4), (5), (25), (26), & (28)).  In each instance, Apple is being sued for infringement of the respective patent now being challenged.  Apple was also the target of an anonymous 180-page request for ex parte reexamination (see ex parte Request No. (7)) against its U.S. Patent No. 8,463,238 claiming a mobile device base station.

There is also an increasing pattern of companies filing joint requests.  For instance, Samsung, LG and HTC teamed up to request inter partes review of two content delivery patents owned by Affinity Labs of Texas (see inter partes review Request Nos. (6) & (8)).

Toshiba Samsung Storage requested inter partes review of two LG recording media patents (see inter partes review Request Nos. (2) & (3)).  The companies are involved in an infringement action in Delaware.
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Atrium Medical Files Six IPR Requests against Two Bard Patents, Week of March 11, 2013

Scott Daniels and Cindy Chen | March 18, 2013


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APJs Refuse to Consider Redundant Proposed Grounds for Rejection in Covered Business Method Petition

Scott Daniels | November 16, 2012

A panel of eight APJs, including Chief APJ Smith, ordered withdrawal of redundant grounds for rejection in the Petition filed in Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Progressive Casualty Ins. Co., CBM2012-00003.

Writing for panel, APJ Jameson Lee stated that “numerous redundant grounds would place a significant burden on the Patent Owner and the Board, and would cause unnecessary delays.”  A Petitioner “has the burden of proof to establish that it is entitled to the requested relief” and must draw a “meaningful distinction between” its proposed rejections.  “A petitioner who does not state the differences between a challenged claim and the prior art, and relies instead on the Patent Owner and the Board to determine those differences based on the rest of the submission in the petition risks having the corresponding ground of obviousness not included for trial for failing to adequately state a claim for relief.”


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