Forced Cooperation Between Rivals Does Not Create

Forced Cooperation Between Rivals Does Not Create a “Significant Relationship”, PTAB Litigation Blog

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Director Vidal recently vacated three discretionary denials of institution after finding that the three petitioners did not have a “significant relationship” with a prior petitioner.  American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Neo Wireless LLC, IPR2023-00797, Paper 27 (Mar. 22, 2024); see also IPR2023-00962; IPR2023-00763.  The PTAB applies seven non-exclusive factors from General Plastic Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, IPR2016-01357, Paper 19 (PTAB Sept. 6, 2017) to determine whether to discretionarily deny serial petitions from the same petitioner.  Valve Corp. v. Elec. Scripting Prods., Inc., expands General Plastic to apply to unrelated subsequent petitioners if they have a “significant relationship” with the prior petitioner.  IPR2019-00062, Paper 11 (Apr. 2, 2019).  Director Vidal’s decisions clarify that the PTAB does not recognize a “significant relationship” between parties having different accused products, litigating in different district courts, and “merely engag[ing] in court-ordered pretrial coordination” in multi-district litigation.  IPR2023-00763, Paper 28 at 3.

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