In a ruling designated as informative, PTAB rejected a patent owner's argument that the petitions were time-barred under 35 USC 315(b), finding that an amended complaint is not served until the filing of the amended complaint. TRW Automotive US LLC v. Magna Elecs., Inc., Nos. IPR2014-00293; -00294; -00296; -00297 and -00298 (PTAB June 27, 2014). On December 24, 2013, petitioner TRW filed two IPR petitions challenging Magna's patent relating to an improved electronic rearview mirror system. Magna contended that the petitions were time-barred under 35 USC 315(b), which requires the filing of petitions within one year of a petitioner being served with a complaint. Here, Magna filed a complaint in district court on June 20, 2012 alleging TRW's infringement of its patents. On December 20, 2012, Magna filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, which the court granted on December 26, 2012. Magna argued that the amended complaint with the motion was served on counsel on December 20th when they received a notice of electronic filing of the papers and therefore, that date serves as the date for time-bar. Rejecting the patent owner's arguments, PTAB concluded that the amended complaint was not served on TRW for purposes of Section 315(b) until the court had filed it because prior to the grant of motion for leave, the amended complaint was just a proposal and TRW was not under the court's authority or obliged to engage in litigation related to the challenged patent.
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