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Intellectual Property Patent Licensing and Transactions Patent Litigation

Amending Patent Claims in Post-Grant Trial Proceedings

What You Need to Know
The America Invents Act gave patent owners the right to move to amend their patent claims. To date, however, this right has been more illusory than real. Given their dismal success rate so far, many hope that the tide will turn in favor of granting more motions to amend.

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The America Invents Act (AIA) gave patent owners the right to move to amend their patent claims in the context of AIA trial proceedings (inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and covered business method patent review (CBM)). To date, however, this right has been more illusory than real because it has been exceedingly rare for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to grant motions to amend. This became starkly clear when the Board released the results of its study on motions to amend, which showed that it had denied 95% of the motions included in the study. See, April 2016 PTAB Motion to Amend Study, at 4. Successful motions to amend largely have been those that cancelled claims (without seeking to add a substitute claim) — which are typically granted without substantive review, see, id. at 2 — or were agreed to by the parties as part of settling the post-grant proceeding.

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