PTO Postgrant Proceedings? There's an App for That

PTO Postgrant Proceedings? There's an App for That

SAN FRANCISCO — Fish & Richardson has married two hot sectors in the technology space: mobile apps and postgrant review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Since opening for business in 2012, the PTAB has received more than 1,000 petitions for inter partes review and other challenges to patent validity. Fish Post-Grant­, an app available through iTunes and Google Play Store, is offering news and information about the process, such as all district court orders granting or denying stays of litigation pending inter partes review. We spoke with Fish & Richardson partner Karl Renner about Fish Post-Grant last week.

Q: Why is there so much activity in this area right now?

A: I think it’s because of the application of more favorable standards of claim construction for challengers, and because challenges have enjoyed a level of success at the patent office that breeds further challenges.

Q: What’s the thinking behind the app?

A: We do webinars on a monthly basis, and the audience for those was coming back to us and asking for different vehicles to listen. Somebody liked to listen to them on a treadmill, which I thought was a little dangerous. The natural extension was to try to make the information available to people on their handheld devices.

Q: Where do you look for content?

A: We have internal information at the firm that we use to keep people abreast of the law on a daily basis. Bite-sized pieces are very important. We want to get it to people outside of the firm—clients and otherwise—that are also trying to keep abreast of changes while managing their daily lives.

Q: There’s a social component to the app.

A: That’s right. In today’s world, people don’t want cold data that gets stale. They want to get questions answered, and those questions always come with variations, so we’re trying to give them live, updated [information] on a regularized basis.

Q: Why did this make sense for Fish?

A: We do patent prosecution and litigation, so it seemed like we were sitting at the sweet spot. We feel a sense of responsibility that, No. 1, we’re learning what needs to be learned; No. 2, feeding back into the system; and No. 3, making sure the community at large has the information they need at their fingertips, so people can use the [postgrant] tools responsibly.

Contact the reporter at sgraham@alm.com.

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