Competent Counsel: Patently Obvious
In 2012, Congress dramatically altered the patent landscape with the passage of the “America Invents Act (AIA).” This legislation represents the most significant patent reform since the passage of the 1952 Patent Act. Most importantly, it created several new procedures within the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that allow parties to challenge the validity of issued patents quickly, efficiently, and effectively. The procedures have been warmly embraced by defendants accused of infringing a patent as a cost-effectively alternative to expensive district court litigation. Patent owners, on the other hand, have decried these procedures as unfair and harassing. As with many other policy issues, your view on this legislation may depends on whose ox is being gored.
Regardless of whether you are filing an AIA proceeding or defending against one, you need expert legal counsel. These proceedings are held before a panel of sophisticated Administrative Patent Judges (APJs), each of whom possess significant legal and technical expertise. Many APJs are former, senior patent examiners or private practitioners from large firms. As a result, it is critically important that your counsel master both the technical and legal nuances of your case.
While these procedures share many similarities to district court litigation (for example, the same rules of evidence apply), there are also many differences. In particular, these are administrative proceedings and not judicial ones. As an administrative agency, the PTO has published dozens of unique rules that govern these procedures. It is vitally importantly that your counsel be well versed in these rules because they are “a trap for the unwary.” One misstep can result in valuable rights lost. To represent you effectively, your counsel should specialize in practice before the PTO. District court litigation experience, while helpful, is not enough.
The Law Office of Peter J. Ayers brings decades of big-firm patent litigation experience, PTO administrative expertise, and high-tech engineering acumen to every case. Whether you are looking to challenge a dubious patent that has been unfairly asserted against you or seeking to defend your valuable patent against a claim that it is unpatentable, we are here to help.
More about Peter J. Ayers
PETER J. AYERS
Specializing in intellectual property matters before federal district courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.