2015年9月7日 星期一

Routine Discovery v. Additional Discovery in AIA

Routine and Additional Discovery in AIA Trial Proceedings: What Is the Difference?

(1) mandatory initial disclosures:這是在IPR請願者與專利權人都有義務揭露相關資訊,如利害關係人、相關訴訟現狀、相關系爭案的其他爭議等。
(2) routine discovery:可稱一般探索程序,為雙方都應提出給對方相關資料文件的探索程序。
(3) additional discovery:此為單方面提出而要求對方提供資訊的探索程序。

routine discovery:(i)表示任何有關此案的文獻與證據;(ii)交互檢查宣誓證詞;(iii)資訊有不符時,應提出對應證明。
"(i) any exhibit cited in a paper or in testimony in the case; (ii) cross examination of affidavit testimony; and (iii) relevant information that is inconsistent with a position advanced by a party, which must be served concurrently with the filing of documents or things that contain the inconsistency."

additional discovery:

這裡提到IPR2012-00001中PTAB設定的五個Garmin要件("Five Garmin Factors"):

  1. More Than A Possibility And Mere Allegation. The mere possibility of finding something useful, and mere allegation that something useful will be found, are insufficient. Thus, the party requesting discovery already should be in possession of a threshold amount of evidence or reasoning tending to show beyond speculation that something useful will be uncovered. “Useful” does not mean merely “relevant” or “admissible,” but rather means favorable in substantive value to a contention of the party moving for discovery.
  2. Litigation Positions And Underlying Basis. Asking for the other party’s litigation positions and the underlying basis for those positions is not necessarily in the interest of justice.
  3. Ability To Generate Equivalent Information By Other Means. Information a party can reasonably figure out, generate, obtain, or assemble without a discovery request would not be in the interest of justice.
  4. Easily Understandable Instructions. The requests themselves should be easily understandable. For example, ten pages of complex instructions is prima facie unclear.
  5. Requests Not Overly Burdensome To Answer. The Board considers financial burden, burden on human resources, and burden on meeting the time schedule of the review. Requests should be sensible and responsibly tailored according to a genuine need.

IPR程序在不少資訊裡頭都可查到,理論上大同小異,以下分別列舉關於routine discoveryadditional discovery的案例:


  1. 2013/1/25提出IPR
  2. 2013/1/25請願人同時提出POA
  3. 2013/1/30 PTAB發出IPR通知(notice of filing date accorded),這時PTAB會提出IPR申請的缺陷(5天內要更正),此時同時提到兩個期限:Patent Owner may file a preliminary response to the petition no later than three months from the date of this notice.Patent Owner is advised of the requirement to submit mandatory notice information under 37 C.F.R. § 42.8(a)(2) within 21 days of service of the petition.
  4. 2013/1/30 同一天PTAB也發出會議通知給雙方(order regarding conference call),目的是釐清案情,比如claim construction
  5. 2013/2/15專利權人提出POA,按照PTAB規定的21日內提出,這時也是轉換代理人的時間,因為處理申請與prosecution案與處理IPR的代理人常常是不同的
  6. 2013/2/15同日專利權人提出mandatory notice21日內),其中主要是表明利害關係人與相關專利權的問題
  7. 2013/4/30專利權人在3個月期限最後一天發出初步回應(preliminary response),這裡可以想見或許是專利權人刻意將時間用滿,使得IPR不要過早作出決定
  8. 2013/6/20PTAB發出啟始決定(institution decision其中之一啟始命令:an inter partes review is hereby instituted as to claims 19-21 of the ’088 patent on the ground of anticipation by Adler under 35 U.S.C. § 102(e)
  9. 2013/6/20同時發出程序行事曆(scheduling order),行事曆規定各項步驟的時間期限,如專利權人的答辯(response to the petition)、更正專利的請求(motion to amending)、請願人的回應等
  10. 2013/8/19 PTAB決定請願人無須回應專利權人提出要求的文件(否決一般探索程序)
  11. 2013/8/26專利權人回應啟始決定
  12. 2013/8/29~2013/10/23請願人、PTAB與專利權人三方往來,比如補充證據、更新證據、意見往來等,甚至可以左右PTAB決定
  13. 2013/11/5程序終止,因為雙方和解(settlement agreement
此案特別涉及何謂「routine discovery」:此為一般探索程序,相對於另一種額外探索程序(additional discovery)來說,一般探索程序為自行啟動、自行實施,並非是此案專利權人或請願人所提出的探索程序,在一般探索程序中,雙方有義務主動提出相關文件

"Routine discovery in AIA trials corresponds to evidence and information that a party must provide to the other side. Routine discovery is self-executing. BlackBerry Corp. et al. v. Wi-Lan USA Inc., IPR2013-00126, Paper 15, 2. Thus, there is no need for a party to file a motion for “routine discovery” with the Board, or serve a request for routine discovery on a party—parties have the burden to come forward and provide such material. Id.; 37 C.F.R. § 42.51(b)(1); Nichia Corp. v. Emcore Corp., IPR2012-00005, Paper 19, 2."

有關additional discovery見於先前IPR程序討論:

此案例為專利權人提出探索程序請求,因此為additional discovery,並非routine discovery,在請求項由專利權人提出多項質疑,要請願人回答:
對此,請願人拒絕,提出反對意見,PTAB則居中協調,包括減少問題,在討論後認為這並非是"routine discovery",而是"additional discovery"。

何謂「additional discovery」:在此AIA程序下,提出additional discovery的一方應表示要調查的疑問,可以在有限制的情況下釐清一些事情。如以下五個啟始additional discovery的要件:

本案審理過程同意進行由專利權人要求的additional discovery,但也同意請願人作出反對意見:"ORDERED that Patent Owner is authorized to file a motion for additional discovery under 37 C.F.R. § 42.51(b)(2) by March 15, 2013, limited to five pages; Petitioner is authorized to file an opposition by March 19, 2013, also limited to five pages; and no reply is authorized"