Over the past summer months, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has designated five recent decisions as precedential, a designation that makes them binding on all panels at the board. One precedential decision of the summer arose due to a series of challenges that Valve brought against Electronic Scripting patents covering virtual reality technology. This is the second decision from Valve’s challenges to be designated as precedential.
This decision expands the PTAB’s 2017 ruling in General Plastic v. Canon, which identifies factors considered by the Board when deciding whether to reject petitions that challenge the same patent as a previous petition. An important General Plastics factor considers whether the same petitioner has already filed a challenge to the patent.
The Valve decision stated that this factor applies to a joined petitioner. Because Valve previously joined a challenge HTC brought against Electronic’s patent, the board determined that Valve already filed a petition “directed to the same claims of the same patent.” Turner commented, "Similar to the first Valve decision, the board is showing they’ll expand the first General Plastic factor from the same petitioner to a different petitioner that is somehow related.”
A registered patent attorney with degrees in both electrical and mechanical engineering, Turner focuses his practice on patent prosecution and post-grant proceedings. He is the co-chair of Brooks Kushman’s post-grant proceedings practice, and has extensive experience with hybrid electric vehicles, LED lighting systems, audio systems, electric machines, controls, electronics, telecommunications, augmented reality and virtual reality technology.
The full Law360 article can be found here.
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