The PTAB designated as precedential its Institution Decision in Athena Automation Ltd. v. Husky Injection Moldings Systems Ltd., IPR2013-00290, Paper No. 18 (Oct. 25, 2013). According to the Patent Office’s message announcing this new precedential designation, “[t]his decision determines that the doctrine of assignor estoppel is not an exception to 35 U.S.C. § 311(a), which allows ‘a person who is not the owner of a patent’ to file a petition for inter partes review.”

Athena joins just eight other decisions or portions of decisions that the PTAB has designated as precedential in PTAB trials. The complete list can be found on the Patent Office’s website, although the list also includes other types of PTAB decisions, such as appeals from ex parte prosecution matters.