Microsoft

Magistrate Judge in Eastern District of Texas Adds to the Developing Jurisprudence of Estoppel in the Context of IPRs and 35 U.S.C. § 315.

May 16, 2017

A magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Texas has recommended to the Court on May 11, 2017 that Microsoft be estopped from raising certain defenses at trial stemming from a total of six (6) IPRs filed by Microsoft against the patent owner Biscotti Inc.

Specifically, the magistrate judge states that:

Section 315(e) estops Microsoft from asserting at trial: (1) grounds for which the PTAB instituted IPR and determined those grounds to be insufficient to establish unpatentability after a trial on the merits; (2) grounds included in a petition but determined by the PTAB to not establish a reasonable likelihood of unpatentability (in other words, administrative review on the merits of a ground); and (3) grounds not included in a petition that a “skilled searcher conducting a diligent search reasonably could have been expected to discover.” See, e.g., 157 Cong. Rec. S1375 (daily ed. Mar. 8, 2011) (statement of Senator Jon Kyl); see also Clearlamp, LLC v. LKQ Corp., No. 12 C 2533, 2016 WL 4734389, at *9 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 18, 2016) (adopting the skilled searcher standard). As for the third category, the Court agrees with the Delaware court when it remarked, “extending [Shaw’s] logic to prior art references that were never presented to the PTAB at all (despite their public nature) confounds the very purpose of this parallel administrative proceeding . . . .” Intellectual Ventures I, Case No. 13-CV-00453-SLR, Dkt. No. 559 at 26-27. Finally, Microsoft is not estopped from asserting grounds included in a petition but which the PTAB found redundant or declined to institute review for another procedural reason. See Shaw, 817 F.3d at 1300; HP, 817 F.3d at 1347.

p. 13-14.

Read the full Report and Recommendation here.