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Inter partes reviews (IPRs) and other Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings are now a crucial strategic weapon for companies in bet-the-business patent litigation. The America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 created IPRs to afford a petitioner the opportunity to challenge the novelty and obviousness of issued U.S. patents based on prior art patents and printed publications.

Similarly, the AIA created Post-Grant Reviews (PGRs) for challenging issued U.S. patents having filing dates after March 15, 2013 on any grounds for patentability and Covered Business Method Patent Review (CBM) for challenging the validity of certain U.S. business method patents. In each proceeding, a three member panel of administrative law judges at the PTAB hear argument and determine the patentability of the challenged patent in a trial-like setting.

Courts appear increasingly willing to stay patent litigations while the PTAB conducts these Patent Office Trials. Thus, the interplay between litigation and PTAB strategies can provide important opportunities, as well as risks, for patent litigants. To keep pace with the rapidly increasing number of post-grant challenges to patents, the PTAB is demanding strict adherence to its rules and compressed schedules, making it even more important for clients to work with an experienced firm that has a proven track record.

Covington has handled over 100 PTAB proceedings and achieved successful outcomes in nearly 100% of the cases that went to judgment. Covington attorneys represent both patent owners and petitioners in IPR and other PTAB proceedings, in all fields of technology, and regularly advise clients on combined litigation and PTAB strategies, and on PTAB decisions and processes.

Covington’s Patent Office Trials Practice is headed by Andrea Reister, the rare “triple threat” - a lawyer with successes before the PTAB; experience litigating District court cases, including Hatch-Waxman; and leadership in Federal Circuit appeals - and includes patent attorneys from Covington’s highly regarded Patent Litigation and Patent Prosecution practices. This unique combination of patent prosecution and litigation talent puts Covington’s clients in position to successfully challenge and respond to instituted IPR, PGR and CBM proceedings while efficiently managing simultaneous litigation.