Inter Partes Review Proceedings: Helping or Hurting Innovation and the IP Industry?

By Edmund J. Walsh, a chair of the Post Grant Practice Group at the intellectual property law firm of Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, PC in Boston, MA.

A panel of experts debated the impact of inter partes review proceedings at the LES Annual Meeting. There can be little doubt that inter partes review, or IPR as it is often abbreviated, has had a major impact on the resolution of patent disputes since it was made possible by a change in patent law about two years ago. IPRs are being filed at a rate of about 160 per month and—so far—the results have heavily favored challengers. Seventy-four percent (74%) of petitions filed have led to a trial, and, if the trial proceeded to a final written decision, 80% of the time all challenged claims have been invalidated.
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