In IN RE CUOZZO SPEED TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, the Federal Circuit held it lacks jurisdiction to review the Patent Office’s decision to institute inter partes review.
Garmin petitioned the Patent Office for inter partes review of three claims from Cuozzo’s patent. After granting the petition, the PTAB issued a final decision finding all three claims obvious and denied Cuozzo’s motion to amend the claims. On appeal, Cuozzo argued the PTAB should not have used the broadest reasonable interpretation standard for claim construction in AIA review proceedings, as the patentee’s ability to amend claims is limited.
The Federal Circuit held it lacked jurisdiction to review the decision to institute inter partes review, even after the PTAB issued a final decision. The Federal Circuit pointed to language in the AIA stating the decision to institute review “shall be final and nonappealable.” The Federal Circuit also affirmed the PTAB’s claim construction findings under the broadest reasonable interpretation standard. The Federal Circuit found that, while the AIA does not provide a claim construction standard, Congress intended the use of the broadest-reasonable-construction standard used in other Patent Office proceedings. Judge Newman dissented, arguing both that patent owners should be able to appeal decisions to institute reviews after a final decision and that the PTAB should be required to use the same claim construction standard as district courts when decidinginter partes reviews.