The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) had an eventful April, capped by two US Supreme Court decisions addressing inter partes review (IPR). While the Court found IPR constitutional in Oil States Energy Services, in its companion decision in SAS Institute, the Court also barred the PTAB’s practice of instituting trial as to a subset of the challenged claims (partial institution decisions). As a result, since those April 24 opinions, the PTAB has begun to institute trial for all challenged claims for IPR petitions where the petitioner is likely to prevail as to at least one claim (and for all petitioned grounds, a practice not required by SAS Institute). Among the affected IPRs instituted in late April were two against Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC, while the PTAB saw IPR petitions filed in April against Oyster Optics, LLC and Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited. The Board also issued final decisions throughout April in IPRs against ChriMar Systems, Inc.; Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd.; Papst Licensing GmbH & Company Kg; Skky, Inc.; and Uniloc.
Uniloc USA, Inc. and Uniloc Luxembourg S.A. (Uniloc ) have filed three new cases, two against Alphabet (Google) (2:17-cv-00214; 2:17-cv-000224) and one against Amazon (2:17-cv-00228). The -214 case against accuses Google of infringing three patents (7,535,890; 8,724,622; 8,995,433) from a first family of five at issue in its group voice messaging campaign through its Android Messages app, while the company is accused in the -224 case of infringing those same three patents, as well as a fourth (8,199,747) from the same family, through its Google Hangout app. Uniloc asserts three patents from a second five-member family (7,853,000; 7,804,948; 8,571,194) against Amazon, targeting provision of Amazon Chime. This family generally relates to initiating conference calls from an instant message app.