Cases & Deals

ION Geophysical wins appeal holding 30 of competitor's patent claims unpatentable

Client(s) ION Geophysical Corporation

ION Geophysical, represented by a cross-office, cross-practice team of Jones Day lawyers, obtained a complete victory on appeal against one of its competitors when the Federal Circuit affirmed six final written decisions of the U.S. Patent Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) holding unpatentable a total of 30 claims across three WesternGeco patents in inter partes review proceedings. In addition to obtaining affirmance of the six final written decisions, the Jones Day team also fended off WesternGeco's claim that the inter partes reviews were time-barred; the Federal Circuit rejected the argument advanced by WesternGeco that the original petitioner challenging the claims, PGS, was "in privity" with ION, which had been sued on these patents well over a year before PGS's challenges were filed. The unanimous Federal Circuit panel concluded: "The Board properly held that ION is not a real party in interest or privy of PGS. Thus, the statutory time bar does not apply. On the merits, we find that, for each of the WesternGeco Patents, the Board correctly interpreted the claims, and substantial evidence supports the Board’s unpatentability findings."

WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., Nos. 2016-2099, -2100, -2101, -2332, -2333, -2334 (Fed. Cir. May 7, 2018); WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., Nos. PTAB-IPR2014-00687, -00688, -00689, -01475, -01477, -01478, PTAB-IPR2015-00565, -00566, -00567 (PTAB)