November 11, 2015

Board Offers New Technique to Solve an Often-Raised IPR Issue

One panel of the PTAB has introduced a technique that may help solve the oft-raised complaint that a reply brief from Petitioner contains new evidence and/or argument not raised in the Petition. In early decisions, when this issue arose, the Board would simply dismiss the complaint by stating that it would, upon consideration of the entire record after the oral hearing, decide whether or not new evidence or argument had been relied upon. But, in Nintendo of Am. Inc. v. iLife Tech., IPR2015-00105, Paper 23, the Board offered Patent Owner a brief opportunity to point out the purported new evidence that will, frankly, probably make life easier on the Board.

More specifically, the Board addressed a complaint from Patent Owner that Petitioner’s reply brief included new arguments and referred to evidence not previously addressed in the Petition. Id. at 2. The Board introduced a new concept (a “Motion for Attention to New Material”???) that allowed the Patent Owner to file a 2-page brief that lists “the location and a concise description of any portion of the Petitioner’s Reply that Patent Owner wishes to draw to the Board’s attention, but it should not contain argument.” In turn, Petitioner was authorized to file a response to this paper, identifying an itemized list of what from the Patent Owner Response triggered Petitioner to include each item listed by the Patent Owner in its Reply. Again, no argument is allowed.

It is interesting to continue to watch the Board evolve to find new ways to solve the issues that come up so often in IPR proceedings.