By: Caldwell

The America Invents Act (AIA), put into effect September 16, 2012, created three new post-grant review proceedings: post-grant review (PGR), inter partes review (IPR), and covered business method (CBM) review. With the creation of post-grant proceedings, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has grown to become the venue most popular for litigating patent disputes in the United States, with a total of 1,606 litigations in 2018.

Before the AIA, a third-party disputer attempting to invalidate a patent before the USPTO had only two options: have limited involvement in a ex part reexamination procedure, or have slightly more involvement in an inter partes reexamination procedure. Disputing a patent before the USPTO, as opposed to in the federal court, reduces the time of litigation, reduces the total cost, and mitigates the risk of a counter strike. The AIA has provided a third-party disputer with many different avenues to challenge the invalidity of a patent.

IPR has proved to be an effective alternative to inter partes reexamination. Additionally, IPR offers considerable benefits over a district court patent litigation. Inter Partes Review follows a trial-like proceeding conducted in front of the PTAB, a panel of administrative judges at the USPTO.