An expanded panel of the PTAB granted the joinder motion allowing the same party's serially-filed IPR petitions to be consolidated into a single proceeding when one of the petitions would have been time-barred but for the grant of the motion. Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor Co., Ltd. v. Nidec Motor Corp., IPR2015-00762, Paper 16 (PTAB Oct. 5, 2015). Petitioner timely filed an IPR petition but due to certain deficiencies, filed a second petition more than one year after it had been served with a complaint. The second petition however was accompanied by a joinder motion under Section 315(c). A PTAB panel denied the joinder reasoning that the Petitioner could not be joined as a party to a proceeding in which it is already a party. On rehearing by an expanded panel, the expanded panel concluded that Section 315(c) permits both party joinder and issue joinder. In granting the motion, the expanded panel reasoned that the second petition merely seeks to rectify a procedural deficiency of the first petition and doesn't prejudice the patent owner.
Disclaimer: The content in this blog is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.