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This article is the first in a series that will explore  how the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) is handling various aspects of the new post-grant procedures created by the America Invents Act of 2011 (“AIA”). This article discusses how the PTAB has dealt with arguments regarding secondary considerations of non-obviousness. To date, the PTAB has begun to formulate a strict but still-evolving standard for how and when it will consider secondary considerations evidence when determining whether to grant or deny a petition for an inter partes review (“IPR”) or a covered business method patent (“CBM”) challenge under the AIA. Because review of secondary considerations is mandatory in district court evaluation of obviousness, it has not been a surprise to see secondary considerations arise in IPR and CBM challenges. See Plantronics, Inc. v. Aliph, Inc., 724 F.3d 1343, 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

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