By statute, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is required to issue a final written decision within one year of the date on which an inter partes review (IPR) is instituted. 35 U.S.C. § 316(a)(11). However, Congress granted the Director of the Patent Office discretion to extend the one-year period “not more than 6 months” if there is “good cause shown.” Id. In five years of conducting IPR trials, the PTAB did not extend the one-year period for issuing a final written decision in IPR proceedings not involving a joined petition. On October 6, 2017, the PTAB extended the one-year period for the first time to consider the impact of the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, 2017 WL 439000 (Oct. 4, 2016). Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc., IPR2016-00868, Paper 57 (PTAB Oct. 6, 2017).
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