Dr. Michael Farmwald and RPX Corp. v. ParkerVision, Inc.

Addressing whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will conduct a separate Markman hearing prior to an oral argument in an inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) refused, but invited either party to use a portion of its allotted time during oral arguments for a technology tutorial or a presentation on claim construction.  Dr. Michael Farmwald and RPX Corp. v. ParkerVision, Inc., Case IPR2014-00946 (PTAB, Jan. 26, 2015) (Gerstenblith, APJ.).

Dr. Farmwald owns a patent that is generally directed to techniques for down-converting electromagnetic signals.  ParkerVision filed a petition for IPR, challenging some of the claims of the patent.  After institution, Dr. Farmwald requested that the Board include, in the trial schedule and prior to the final hearing, a technology tutorial and a Markman hearing (to determine how the claims should be constructed).  ParkerVision did not oppose. However, the Board denied the request, indicating that either party was free to use part of its allotted time during the oral hearing for a technology tutorial or a presentation on its claim construction positions.