Federal Circuit Three Times More Likely to Rule 36 Patent Owner-Appellants, PTAB Litigation Blog

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When patent owners appeal PTAB decisions to the Federal Circuit, 67% of subsequent opinions are one-line Federal Circuit Rule 36 ("Rule 36") summary affirmance orders, but when petitioners appeal, that number is a mere 18%.  Chestnut Hill Sound Inc. v. Apple Inc., 774 F. App’x 676 (Fed. Cir. 2019), petition for cert. filed (U.S. Nov. 6, 2019) (No. 19-591).  In one example, Chestnut Hill Sound Inc. v. Apple Inc., the PTAB agreed with Apple in finding that Chestnut’s U.S. Patent Nos. 8,090,309 ("’309") and 8,725,063 were obvious and thus unpatentable, where the patents described incorporating an iPod into a larger media system to allow playback from multiple media libraries.  After Chestnut appealed the ‘309 patent, the Federal Circuit disposed of the appeal using just one word: "Affirmed."

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