In a 2-1 decision, the Federal Circuit vacated the injunction and contempt order subsequent to PTO's reexam. ePlus Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc. In this case, ePlus sued Lawson Software for infringement. The district court found infringement of method and system claims. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed only the infringement of one method claim and remanded. Thereafter, the district court modified the injunction and found Lawson in contempt. Lawson appealed both the order and during the pendency of the appeal, the USPTO during its reexamination found the infringed method claim as invalid. Writing for the majority, Judge Dyk reasoned that the 1855 decision of the Supreme Court in Pennsylvania v. Wheeling & Belmont Bridge Co. requires an injunction to be set aside where the legal basis for it has ceased to exist. It set aside the contempt order because the injunction was not a final judgment. In his dissenting opinion, Judge O'Malley found the majority's reliance on the Fresenius II decision to set aside the contempt order as troubling. Full text of the opinion is available here.
PTAB denied petitioner Unified Patents, Inc.'s petition for IPR where the follow-on petition was based on prior art and arguments raised in earlier petitions by different petitioners. Unified Patents, Inc. v. PersonalWeb Technologies, LLC, IPR2014-00702, Paper 13 (P.T.A.B. July 24, 2014). Unified filed a petition for IPR of 11 claims of a patent that was already subject to three other petitions, two of which were already instituted by PTAB. In rejecting Unified's petition under 35 USC 325(d), PTAB concluded that instituting Unified's petition would inevitably waste time, effort and resources. Taking into consideration the efficient administration of the Office under 35 USC 316(b), PTAB denied Unified's petition.
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