I’m excited to announce that this week FedCircuitBlog will host its second online symposium. The symposium will be a Year in Review, reviewing the work of the Federal Circuit in 2020 in various areas of the court’s jurisdiction: appeals involving international trade, patents, money damages claims against the federal government, federal employment law, and veterans’ benefits. We will welcome guest blog posts from leading professors and practitioners in these subject matter areas. Here, however, I first provide a brief overview of the court’s activity this past year–a year markedly different as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a year in which the court continued its work hearing appeals and deciding cases in the areas of its jurisdiction.
Stay jurisprudence from the Federal Circuit is a legacy of the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method (“CBM”) Review. Prior to the America Invents Act (AIA), the Federal Circuit rarely heard appeals related to stay motions because of the final-judgment rule. However, under the CBM statute, a party to a CBM review was allowed to take an immediate interlocutory appeal from a district court’s decision regarding whether to stay an infringement case pending a CBM review. The CBM statute was intended to increase the predictability of context-dependent stay decisions and to increase the grant rate of CBM-related stay motions. At the sunset of the eight-year CBM program on September 16, 2020, we reflect on the CBM stay jurisprudence developed around this statute.
Online Symposium: The CBM Program Should Expire This Week as Provided by Law—Effective Alternatives for Robust Administrative Reviews of Issued Patents Remain
Guest post by Ron D. Katznelson, Ph.D.
The Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patent Review (CBMR) was enacted in § 18 of the America Invents Act (AIA) for reviewing issued Covered Business Method (CBM) patents – patents that claim “a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service.” The AIA also set a sunset expiration date for CBMR on September 16, 2020. For the reasons explained below, CBMR should expire this week as intended and enacted in the AIA. As further explained below, those who wish to challenge CBM patents after that date, can effectively do so using any of the three alternative administrative proceedings at the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) that remain available with no sunset expiration, or by federal court action.
I’m pleased to announce that, this week and next, Fed Circuit Blog will host its first online symposium. This symposium will focus on the anticipated sunset of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s statutory directive to hold “covered business method review” proceedings—hearings to review the patentability of claims included in “covered business method patents.” The Federal Circuit, of course, hears appeals from parties dissatisfied with judgments rendered by the PTAB in these CBMR proceedings, and over the last several years the court has issued a number of opinions in this context. Here, I provide background on these proceedings and introduce some of the topics participants in our symposium will address in their guest blog posts.