e-Watch Patent Cancelled by PTAB in Apple IPR After Filing Error Destroys Priority Claim

  • July 1, 2016

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has ruled that a patent asserted by e-Watch, Inc. against Apple (7,643,168) is invalid as anticipated by prior art (IPR2015-00414). In a final decision issued on June 22 in an inter partes review (IPR) filed by Apple and Samsung (the latter of which was dismissed after institution), the Board found that the NPE had failed to establish a sufficiently early priority date for the ‘168 patent because the preceding application (11/617,509) did not properly specify its relationship to a prior family member (another application, 09/006,073, published in 1998). Rejecting e-Watch’s arguments that references to a more recently filed family member (the 10/336,470 application) gave adequate notice of the earlier ‘073 application, the Board instead ruled that the ‘168 patent was entitled only to the ‘470 application’s 2003 priority date. As a result, the PTAB held, the ‘168 patent was anticipated by an international application (WO 99/35818) known as “Monroe” that was published in 1999, and cancelled all 31 claims.


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