With the creation of inter partesreview under the America Invents Act (AIA), Congress enacted a statutory bar, 35 U.S.C. § 315(b), limiting the time within which a petition for inter partesreview (IPR) may be filed.
35 U.S.C. § 315(b) states that:
[a]n inter partes review may not be instituted if the petition requesting the proceeding is filed more than 1 year after the date on which the petitioner, real party in interest, or privy of the petitioner is served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent.
The plain language of the statute seems to suggest that Congress made it clear for a potential petitioner that the one-year clock starts running as soon as it is served with a complaint. However, what if the petitioner was the recipient of counterclaims? Or what if the complaint was voluntarily dismissed, service was improper, claims were amended, or the petitioner received multiple complaints?