PRECEDENTIAL: PTAB Declines To Resolve RPI Dispute, PTAB Litigation Blog
In a recently designated precedential decision, the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (“PTAB”) considered challenges to claims covering autonomous robotic cleaning devices. SharkNinja Operating LLC v. iRobot Corp., IPR2020-00734, Paper 11 (PTAB. Oct. 6, 2020) (designated as precedential Dec. 4, 2020). The PTAB instituted inter partes review over 35 U.S.C. § 312(a)(2) challenges by the patent owner. In its institution discussion, the PTAB determined that it does not need to resolve a dispute regarding a possible real party-in-interest (“RPI”) if the determination would not impact its institution decision. The PTAB declined to consider whether a non-party, JS Global Lifestyle Company Limited (“JS Global”), was an unnamed RPI. Instead, the decision considered 35 U.S.C. § 312(a)(2) determinations to be unnecessary for establishing PTAB jurisdiction.
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