In Atlanta Gas Light Co. v. Bennett Regulator Guards, Inc., IPR2013-00453, Paper 31 (Jan. 22, 2014), the PTAB concluded that a Petitioner for IPR was not a “privy” or a “real party-in-interest” for the purposes of 35 U.S.C. 315(b) where its affiliate and putative indemnitee was served with a complaint before any such indemnification obligation arose. In that case, “Patent Owner contend[ed] that, by virtue of various provisions of the supply agreement, [an earlier-served affiliate of Petitioner] is a privy of Petitioner and that institution of IPR is barred because [that affiliate] was served with a complaint alleging infringement of the [involved] patent more than one year before the petition was filed.” The Board disagreed. Specifically, “Patent Owner’s basis for privity, namely various provisions of the supply agreement, did not go into effect until service was effected on Petitioner, i.e., until Petitioner was noticed of the nature of the complaint against it, we need not reach the issue of whether” Petitioner and its affiliate “are related sufficiently closely to impute service on one to service on the other. . . Patent Owner contends that [the affiliate] has breached certain provisions of the supply agreement and ‘[t]hat breach imposes an obligation to make [Petitioner] and its subsidiaries whole for any damages sustained by them in aninfringement suit.’ . . . Patent Owner’s proposition that the ‘word privy should mean a part that has a direct relationship with [Petitioner] concerning the manufacture, sale and/or division of revenues from sales of the product that has been accused of infringing the [involved] patent[,] or that has a direct interest in the proceedings outcome,’ is too broad because it takes insufficient account of the context provided by 35 U.S.C. § 315(b). Specifically, Patent Owner’s privity theory relies fundamentally on [the affiliate] having the right to control Petitioner’s involvement in this proceeding—a right that, at best, arises from Petitioner having been served with the complaint in the district court proceeding. Service upon [the affiliates] prior to service upon Petitioner, creates no clear obligation or opportunity for control of Petitioner by [the affiliate] in this proceeding.”