©2015. Published in Landslide, Vol. 8, No. 1, September/October 2015, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) represents the most significant reform to the American patent system in nearly six decades—and the road to its adoption was long and heavily negotiated. “Inter partes review” (IPR) refers to a new trial proceeding, established under the AIA, intended to provide a faster, more cost-effective alternative to determining patent validity via traditional district court patent litigation, or the former system of inter partes reexamination. IPRs take place inside the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) before administrative patent judges who sit on a specialized tribunal known as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In keeping with the spirit of the AIA, the PTAB is required to construe its own rules “to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of every proceeding.”1
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