PTAB Hits a Quarter-Million Filings

Founded almost three years ago, the Patent Trial Appeal Board ("PTAB") has exploded in popularity as the venue of choice for challenging patent validity. This week, the PTAB reached a symbolic, but nevertheless real milestone: exceeding a quarter million document filings in the court. These documents represent the numerous opinions, motions, petitions, and exhibits filed by the PTAB, Patent Owners, and Petitioners. Despite being largely symbolic, it nevertheless underscores the fact that the PTAB has now become the most active patent venue in the country.

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Automate Financial Due Diligence with Docket Alarm

Commercial banks, investment banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions spend an inordinate amount of time on due diligence: researching a potential debtor’s financial history and quantifying the amount of risk of a particular investment or loan. Much of this diligence can be automated.

There are hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies filed every year. Banks and other financiers use Docket Alarm to research personal and commercial bankruptcy records. Financial institutions can easily see if a potential corporate customer is solvent or has declared bankruptcy in the past.  Using Docket Alarm’s API, searches can be automated, leading to an enormous savings in efficiency over manual searching.

In addition to bankruptcies, Docket Alarm automates access to court records involving your clients' and debtors’ litigation. Trackers can be setup for particular types of case activity, or on new filings for a particular company. Manually auditing and researching parties is inefficient and time consuming. Docket Alarm automatically pushes alerts when a new matter is filed involving your potential customer or when there has been a development in an existing matter involving your customer.

Docket Alarm automates your due diligence by pushing the information to you, rather than requiring researchers to proactively find it themselves. Our APIs help save thousands of hours of manual research. Contact us at to find out how we can automate your institution’s due diligence.

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War of the Fitness Trackers: Adidas v. Under Armour

Back in February of 2014, German sportswear giant Adidas filed a patent infringement suit against competitor Under Armour, Inc. in United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

Adidas accused Under Armour and its newly acquired fitness tracker subsidiary, MapMyFitness, Inc., of infringing ten of its patents. These patents cover technology used in Adidas’ line of fitness tracker devices, known as miCoach, that coaches users in real time during their workouts. Adidas alleges that Under Armour and MapMyFitness utilize similar technology in their line of fitness tracker products, Armour39, which includes a module, chest strap, watch, supporting software and mobile app.

While the case is still ongoing, Under Armour recently filed several petitions for Inter Partes Review (IPR) with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), challenging the validity of multiple claims in three of the ten Adidas patents they are accused of infringing— U.S. Patent No. 8,725,276, U.S. Patent No. 8,721,502 , and U.S. Patent No. 8,652,009.

These IPR petitions challenge claims concerning GPS, athletic performance tracking, route recommendation and more, on the grounds of anticipation and obviousness. Under Armour cites numerous prior art references in each IPR petition supporting their contention that much of the technology relied upon by Adidas in securing patent protection was already well known in the prior art.

Of Under Armour’s nine petitions, two have instituted, two have been denied, and four are currently pending a decision from the PTAB. To be notified of the PTAB’s decision on whether to institute Under Armour’s IPR petitions, click the “Track Docket” on each IPR docket (IPR2015-01528, IPR2015-01531, IPR2015-01532, IPR2015-00688). The email alert includes a summary of the update and a PDF attachment of the filing. To set up email alerts for Adidas’ pending federal suit, click the “Track Docket” button on this page.

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Advanced Search Tools to Find the Right Court Decision

Terms and connectors searching allow users to string together multiple complex queries. Say you are searching for §112 issues in a patent case. You may search for “written description invalidity” to find relevant information. However, this search will return any result that uses those three words. By using terms and connectors, you can narrow your query: (written w/3 description) w/10 invalidity. This query indicates that you are looking for results where the word “description” appears within three words of “written”, and “invalidity” appears within ten words of that combination.

Terms and connectors searching is also helpful in finding cases whose characteristics match your own. For example, if you are involved in a case dealing with first amendment rights around displaying the confederate flag, you may construct a terms and connectors query that looks like this:

This query will return results that have the word amendment appearing within 3 words of the word first, the word flag appearing within three words of the word confederate, and with the latter appearing within 50 words of the former. Results for this query will include a variety of discussions involving the elements of first amendment rights and the confederate flag without limiting the scope of the search to cases with exact language.

Advanced PTAB Search Using Filters

Docket Alarm is the only research platform that has a dedicated Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) search engine. The PTAB search engine has multiple filters to make it easy to find decisions on specific topics. Users can utilize outcome filters to narrow search results to particular motions in PTAB cases. For example, searching “outcome:(joinder)” will return all decisions on a motion for joinder, while “outcome:(sanction)” will return all decisions on a motion for sanctions.

Check out this order where the court approved the filing of a motion for sanctions by petitioner, Square, Inc. Square alleged that the patent owner sent a harassing email to its expert witness, threatening to publicly shame and file legal action against the witness if he did not withdraw his testimony.

Sign up today to start using Docket Alarm’s advanced search queries and filters to simplify your legal research.

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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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