The USPTO America Invents Act (AIA) Trial statistics dated July 31, 2014, show a recent decrease in the percentage of trials instituted and a large increase in the number of IPR petitions.
When similar statistics were published by the USPTO on April 17, 2014, the percentage of decisions instituting inter partes review (IPR) for FY 2014 was 80% (267 of 334). According to the July 31 statistics, the percentage for FY 2014 decreased to 75% (437 of 586). Thus, the institution percentage for the last three and one half months is 67% (170 of 252), a significant decrease from the initial statistics but still a favorable number for petitioners. The USPTO statistics do not differentiate between an institution decision in which review of many or all claims is granted versus a decision to review only one or a few claims.
This decrease is likely caused by petitioners, encouraged by early petitioner successes, using IPRs more often and therefore presenting more aggressive arguments in their petitions. While fewer than 50 IPR petitions were filed each of the first nine months that IPR was available (Sept. 2012-May 2013), over 50 IPR petitions have been filed every month beginning in June 2013. In fact, more than 100 IPR petitions were filed each of the last four months (April-July 2014) with 184 filed in June. It will be interesting to see how this recent increase affects IPR institution percentages in the next several months when then Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will decide whether to institute review.
The USPTO AIA Trial statistics are updated regularly and can be found at the following link: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/bpai/stats/073114_aia_stat_graph.pdf
John M. Bird is a partner in the Washington, DC Office of Sughrue Mion PLLC. His focus is on the protection and enforcement of designs and a wide range of electrical and mechanical technologies, including analytical/measurement systems, medical devices, HVAC systems, printers/copiers, telecommunications systems, data recording mediums, semiconductor fabrication, bearings, welding processes, sports equipment, footwear, and various automobile components, such as tires, transmissions, engines, fuel-injection systems, motors, lamps, steering systems, connectors/wiring, valves, and control/monitoring systems.
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