July 9, 2013

“What We’ve Learned From 9 Months Of Inter Partes Reviews,” Law360, July 9, 2013

Bold predictions that inter partes review would change the face of patent litigation forever appear to be coming true. Just nine months after the first inter partes review was filed, on Sept. 16, 2012, almost 300 petitions seeking IPR have been filed. While the U.S. Patent and Trademark office promulgated detailed rules, and even a trial practice guide, as Einstein said, “[t]he only source of knowledge is experience.”

So, what has three quarters of a year of experience taught us? IPR has been accepted by the patent community — we are on pace for more than 400 petitions in fiscal year 2013 (compared to 374 inter partes re-examinations filed in FY 2011 and 530 filed in FY 2012). But, why has this acceptance occurred so quickly? The numbers below tell the story, but as a general matter — the procedure is working for its intended purpose. That is, IPR has been patent challenger-friendly, and has become an effective, efficient, lower-cost option than district court litigation to challenge the validity of a patent.

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