Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Federal Circuit - In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC - Affirms PTAB Decision on Institution of IPR and Broadest Reasonable Interpretation of Claims

In In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC, the Federal Circuit upheld the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision on two issues:

1.  A decision to institute an inter partes review (IPR) is non-appealable, since 35 USC § 314 precludes all review stating a determination to institute an inter partes review shall be final and non-appealable. The Federal Circuit did leave the door open to challenge a decision if a mandamus shows PTAB "clearly and indisputably exceeded its authority" in granting a petition to institute IPR.

2.  Patent claims must be construed under the broadest reasonable interpretation, because Congress granted the USPTO authority to set the standard for claim construction in an IPR, the USPTO has long construed claims under BRI in PTO proceedings (e.g., reexamination, prosecution, and reissue), and a patent owner can amend patent claims at least according to the rules even if not in practice.

Judge Newman dissented from the majority stating claims in IPR should be interpreted narrowly as in court and 35 USC § 314(d) does not bar an appeal on institution of IPR, since it is intended to protect patent owners from harassing filings.

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