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Patent interferences, reexaminations and reissues occupy an extremely complex area of law that few firms can enter with confidence. Each involves aspects of both patent litigation and patent prosecution, and each requires the knowledge and skill to coordinate proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with patent litigation in the courts. Few attorneys have the required experience to handle these cases – but the attorneys at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney do.
Ours is one of the very few firms in the country with a practice group dedicated to patent interferences, reexaminations and reissues. What's more, we're also very familiar with the many areas of science, technology and engineering that give rise to these cases.
When two or more parties file patent applications claiming more or less the same thing, the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board has to figure out which party gets the patent. These often are de facto opposition proceedings in which one party is challenging a competitor's right to a patent. The procedures are complex, and the stakes are high. Our patent interference team is known for its skill in this area; we've handled more than 100 interference proceedings. Our experience includes handling appeals of USPTO decisions on interferences, both specialized appeals in district court litigation under 35 U.S.C. § 146 and appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We're also able to negotiate settlements and licensing agreements to resolve interferences.
Many defendants and some plaintiffs in patent litigation have lately been interested in reexamination requests, an option with both benefits and serious risks. We're ready to advise our clients about the complex strategic decisions presented by ex parte and inter partes reexamination requests. We can also handle every aspect of the proceedings when our client or an opposing party requests a reexamination in the USPTO.
Our patent reissues team has the in-depth knowledge our clients have come to expect, particularly when they are considering filing patent infringement litigation to enforce their intellectual property rights. Reissue proceedings are similar to standard patent prosecutions, but critical differences between the two can lead to a poor outcome if they're not handled correctly. Our experience in both broadening and narrowing reissue applications and in reissue protests provides our clients with full access to this sometimes critically valuable option.