A Ticking Clock – The PTAB Continues to Define What Constitutes a Complaint Alleging Patent Infringement

By Ben Snitkoff

The Patent Trial and Appeals Board has released another decision interpreting 35 U.S.C. 315(b), regarding the time bar for filing a petitions for inter partes review (IPR). Specifically, the PTAB has again been asked to interpret what the phrase “served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent” means. This rather straightforward language has resulted in two recent opinions which help define what actions begin the clock on the 1-year deadline to file an IPR.

As we discussed in January, the time limit for filing an IPR applies to counterclaims alleging patent infringement, as well as complaints alleging infringement, as defined in the statute. In a more recent case, Amkor Technology, Inc. v. Tessera, Inc., IPR2013-00242, the PTAB determined that an allegation of infringement in a Federal arbitration proceeding does not trigger the one-year time bar under Section 315(b).

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