NHK-Fintiv Challenge Sees Growing Stakeholder Interest as Judge Rejects USPTO Stay Request

December 4, 2020

The USPTO triggered a heated debate through a set of decisions giving the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) the discretion to deny institution for an America Invents Act (AIA) review trial based on the status of parallel district court litigation. In August, Apple, Cisco, Google, and Intel filed a lawsuit challenging those holdings, collectively known as the NHK-Fintiv rule, in a case filed in the Northern District of California—an action that has since grown beyond that initial cadre of tech companies to span a wider set of interests and industries. A medical technology firm joined as a coplaintiff in early November, and last week, a group of businesses and advocacy organizations from sectors including telecommunications and automotive filed a motion for leave to file an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs. Meanwhile, a pair of dueling dispositive motions remain before the court, which has just rejected the USPTO’s attempt to stay consideration of the plaintiffs’ motion.

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