Post-Grant Proceedings

USPTO Post-Grant Proceedings Patent Law
Post-Grant Proceeding Attorneys

Post-Grant Patent Attorneys

USPTO Post-Grant Proceedings

With a deeply specialized team of patent attorneys and agents who have decades of experience advocating for clients in post-grant proceedings before the USPTO, MMV IP can successfully manage complex patent matters on a global scale.

Our practitioners provide valuable insights and expertise in navigating the intricate rules and procedures of PTAB hearings. Combining profound technological knowledge and a unique, streamlined approach, MMV IP is well-equipped to handle all matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, including ex parte reexamination, inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, supplemental examinations, patent reissues, and appeals.

Innovate. Protect. Succeed.

Based in the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) with a global headquarters in Frederick, MD, and a second location in McLean, VA, MMV IP is strategically positioned to cater to clients at local, national, and international levels.

Trusted Post-Grant Representation

McBee, Moore & Vanik represent US and international clients in post-grant proceedings in the fields of biotechnology, chemistry, medical technology, and pharmaceuticals. In addition to first-hand experience in the US patent office, 80% of our IP lawyers hold PHDs, MDs, and advanced degrees in the sciences fields.

Any person (including the patent owner) can request ex parte reexamination (EPR) of a patent at any time during the period of enforceability of the patent (generally, six years from the date on which the patent expires). The requester must submit prior art (patents or printed publications) and establish that this prior art raises a “substantial new question” of patentability (SNQ). If the USPTO orders reexamination, the proceeding is ex parte in nature — the requester is precluded from participating — and it is based on all or some of the art submitted. The proceeding will be conducted to its conclusion, with the issuance of a reexamination certificate.

Who May Seek: Anyone

Which Patents are Affected: All Patents

Legal Standard: “Substantial New Question” of Patentability (“SNQ”)

Grounds: Patents Publishes, Patent Applications, Printed Publications

Estoppel: No legal Estoppel

Post-grant review (PGR) is an adversarial proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to review one or more claims of a patent. Importantly, the challenged claims must have issued from an application that was subject to the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA).

Claims may be challenged for any grounds that could be raised under 35 U.S.C. § 282(b) or (3), including subject matter eligibility, anticipation, obviousness, enablement, written description, public use, on-sale activity, or other public disclosures.

The PGR process begins with a third-party petition that is filed (a) before that party files a declaratory judgment action alleging invalidity of a claim of the patent, and (b) within 9 months after the patent is granted (or reissued).

The petition must establish that it is “more likely than not” that at least one challenged claim is unpatentable, or raise a novel or unsettled legal question that is important to other patents or applications. If the proceeding is instituted and not dismissed (e.g., by consent of the parties), a final determination by the PTAB will be issued within 1 year (extendable for good cause by 6 months).

PGR proceedings also permit litigation-like procedures, including limited discovery, protective orders, and settlement.

Importantly, PGR produces legal estoppel for the petitioner that applies to (a) any ground that the petitioner “raised or reasonably could have raised” during the proceeding, and (b) all USPTO, International Trade Commission (ITC), and district court (litigation) proceedings. Estoppel arising from a PGR proceeding attaches upon the final written determination of the PTAB, and may preclude the petitioner from raising nearly all invalidity defenses during litigation because the grounds for challenging a patent under PGR are so broad.

 

Who May Seek: Anyone Except Patent Owner

Which Patents are Affected: Any patents having a claim with a priority date of 16 March 16 or later PGR request must be filed within nine months of issue

Legal Standard: “More likely than not” that at least one claim is unpatentable

Grounds: “Substantial New Question” of Patentability (“SNQ”)

Estoppel: Raised or reasonably could have raised. Applies to subsequent USPTO, ITC, or district court actions

Inter partes review (IPR) is an adversarial proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to review one or more claims of a patent only on a ground that could be raised under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 or 103 (patents and publications raising issues of novelty and obviousness, respectively).

IPR is available against any patent, regardless of its filing date, but certain considerations pertain to patents issued from an application that was subject to the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the America Invents Act (first-inventor-to-file patents). For first-inventor-to-file patents, the IPR process begins with a third-party petition that is filed after the later of either (a) 9 months after the patent is granted (or reissued), or (b) if a PGR is instituted, termination of the PGR. These deadlines do not apply to first-to-invent patents.

The petition for IPR must be filed before the petitioner files any declaratory judgment action alleging invalidity of a claim of the patent. Alternatively, if a third party is served with an infringement complaint by a patentee, the third party has one year to file a petition for IPR.

The petition must establish a “reasonable likelihood” that the petitioner will prevail on at least one claim. If the proceeding is instituted and not dismissed (e.g., by consent of the parties), a final determination by the PTAB will be issued within 1 year (extendable for good cause by 6 months).

IPR proceedings, like PGR proceedings, also permit litigation-like procedures, including limited discovery, protective orders, and settlement.

Importantly, IPR produces legal estoppel for the petitioner that applies to (a) any ground that the petitioner “raised or reasonably could have raised” during the proceeding, and (b) all USPTO, International Trade Commission (ITC), and district court (litigation) proceedings. Estoppel arising from a IPR proceeding attaches once all appeals are exhausted, and applies to invalidity defenses based on patents and printed publications that were or could have been raised during IPR.

 

Who May Seek: Anyone Except the Patent Owner

Which Patents are Affected: All patents. Available nine months after issue (i.e., after Post-Grant Review window closes) or after any pending PGR concludes.

Legal Standard: “Reasonable likelihood” that petitioner would prevail on at least one challenged claim.

Grounds: Patents Published, Patent applications & Printed publications

Estoppel: Raised or reasonably could have raised. Applies to subsequent USPTO, ITC, or district court actions

Supplemental examination is a procedure by which a patent owner may request that the USPTO “consider, reconsider, or correct information believed to be relevant” to the patent owner’s patent. The “information” may include any information, including patents, journal articles, evidence of on-sale activity, etc., and may involve any ground of patentability (e.g., subject matter eligibility, anticipation, public use or sale, obviousness, written description, enablement, indefiniteness, and double-patenting).

So long as the “information” is considered, reconsidered, or corrected during a supplemental examination of the patent, a court or agency cannot hold the patent unenforceable based on conduct relating to that information in a prior examination of the patent (e.g., the original examination).

Nevertheless, this relief is not available to the patent owner if an allegation is pleaded with particularity in a civil action or set forth with particularity in a notice received by the patent owner under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act before the patent owner files a request for supplemental examination to consider, reconsider, or correct information forming the basis for the allegation.

This relief is also unavailable if a defense (based upon information that was considered, reconsidered, or corrected pursuant to a supplemental examination request) is raised in an action brought in the International Trade Commission (under § 337(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930) or in a civil action brought in a federal district court (under 35 U.S.C. § 281), unless the supplemental examination and any ex parte reexamination ordered pursuant to the request are concluded before the date on which the action is brought.

 

Who May Seek: Patent Owner Only

Which Patents are Affected: All Patents

Legal Standard: “Substantial new question” of patentability would result in Ex Parte Reexamination by USPTO

Grounds: Any Information

Estoppel: Not Applicable

Post-Grant Divider

Protecting Innovation in

Post-Grant Proceedings

McBee Moore & Vanik IP possess extensive experience in all facets of patent preparation, prosecution, and post-grant reviews, including ex parte reexaminations, inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, reissue applications, derivation, appeals, and covered business method reviews.

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WORK IN 80+ COUNTRIES
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PATENTS GRANTED SINCE 2016
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FORMER U.S. PATENT EXAMINERS
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of Attorneys & Agents Hold MDs or PhDs
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