September 22, 2019 Feature

Weaponizing IPRs

Steven C. Carlson

©2019. Published in Landslide, Vol. 12, No. 1, September/October 2019, 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.

Patent reform was heralded as a way to clean out bad patents and fight “patent trolls.” In 2011, Congress passed the America Invents Act (AIA) and thereby created a tribunal within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for evaluating challenges to patent validity called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The PTAB and its proceedings (inter partes reviews, or IPRs, among others) were envisioned as an efficient vehicle for challenging the validity of issued patents. And in many ways, the PTAB has delivered on this promise.

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