RFC Express was, until recently, a well-known IP litigation alert provider that offered easy access to case alerts at a reasonable rate. Unfortunately, the service has appeared to have shuttered its doors. Many users stopped receiving case alerts without warning.
Fortunately, former RFC Express users are not left without options. Docket Alarm can meet all of their research needs and much more.
Blazing Fast Alerts Over a Comprehensive Database
Like RFC Express, Docket Alarm offers users access to IP cases from U.S. Federal District Courts. However, Docket Alarm's platform is much larger, providing users with more than just IP District Court cases. Docket Alarm offers research and tracking services for the PTAB, all U.S. Federal Courts, Bankruptcy courts, the ITC, the TTAB, and even for Orange Book correspondence with the FDA.
Users can run full text searches across all of this information in a single user-friendly search bar, and use intuitive filters to focus in on the documents they want.
In addition to its robust research platform, Docket Alarm also provides attorneys with an analytics platform for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, giving users context and insight into this new tribunal. The PTAB analytics platform allows users to get an overview of PTAB activity or view particular analytical profiles of parties, judges, law firms, or stages of proceedings. These analytical profiles include analytics and statistics on petition filings, instituted petitions, instituted claims, canceled or partially canceled claims, and final written decisions. Attorneys can use these analytics to predict outcomes of cases and to help devise winning litigation strategies.
Patent trolls are companies that attempt to monetize patents through litigation, with no interest in commercializing a product or advancing the state-of-the-art. Litigation initiated by patent trolls is expensive; just the threat can force a settlement.
With the passage of the America Invents Act ("AIA"), a new tribunal called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or "PTAB", was created as an efficient and cost effective means of invalidating patents. The implications for patent trolls looms— the PTAB presents a new and inexpensive proceeding to render their patents invalid, disrupting their business model.
The most common procedure for invalidating a patent at the PTAB is inter partes review ("IPR"). A petition for IPR is filed by a third party, called the "petitioner", against the owner. Often, the petitioner is concurrently involved in a patent infringement lawsuit with the same patent owner. An IPR petition requests that the PTAB invalidate some or all of a patent's claims because the patent is not new (§ 102) or was obvious at the time the patent was filed (§ 103).
A three-judge PTAB panel first decides whether to institute the IPR. Later in the proceeding, the PTAB decides whether to invalidate some or all of the patent's claims in a "final written decision".
The Effect of the PTAB on Patent Owners
Docket Alarm is a legal analytics platform that tracks statistics on IPRs, including how often IPRs get instituted, the number of claims involved, and the outcomes of all final written decisions issued. These statistics can target certain PTAB judges or technology centers, allowing litigants to better estimate their likelihood of success.
PTAB judges have been granting requests to institute IPR petitions more often than not, with petitions being instituted in whole or in part 72% of the time. Interestingly however, the average has decreased over time, in the last three months the average has decreased to 62%. The average number of claims instituted in an IPR petition is 13.8 claims.
Docket Alarm is an advanced search and litigation tracking service for the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), the International Trade Commission (ITC), Bankruptcy Courts, and Federal Courts across the United States. Docket Alarm searches and tracks millions of dockets and documents for thousands of users.
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