A helpful report from Chico Gholz on pending interferences

Those who entered the US patent community only recently (within, say, the past decade) could be forgiven for being unaware of something called an “interference proceeding”. 

An interference proceeding, also known as a priority contest, is an inter partes proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to determine priority issues of multiple patent applications.  It is a proceeding unique to the patent law of the United States.  Unlike in most other countries, which have long had a first-to-file system, until the enactment of the America Invents Act (AIA) in 2011, the United States operated under a first-to-invent regime.  The interference proceeding determines which of several patent applications had been made by the first inventor.  The AIA switched the US to a first-inventor-to-file regime effective March 16, 2013, and interferences apply only to patent applications with an effective filing date prior to that change.  After the change of the law on March 16, 2013, the only somewhat analogous proceeding is the “derivation proceeding”, to determine whether (i) an inventor named in an earlier application derived the claimed invention from an inventor named in the petitioner’s application, and (ii) the earlier application claiming such invention was filed without authorization.

The reader might guess that now, in 2024, some eleven years after the law changed, there might not be any more interference proceedings.  Such a reader would, however, be mistaken to think this.  Now in 2024 there are still exactly nine interference proceedings outstanding.  We know that the number is “nine” and not some bigger or smaller number because of the ceaseless and diligent efforts of a very experienced patent practitioner, Chico Gholz, pictured above.  For more than a decade, Chico has gone to great lengths to monitor the status of every single interference proceeding at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Quoted below, with Chico’s permission, is his report showing the status as of January 2, 2024.    As may be seen, several of the interferences are now before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

106115 Regents of U.C. v. Broad Institute
(24 June 2019)
CAFC Appeal No. 22-1594 (Lead case) Broad Institute v. Regents of U.C.
CAFC Appeal No. 22-1653
CAFC Notice of Oral Argument Issued: Panel: 2405D. Argument scheduled May 7, 2024
106125 Speck v. Bates
CAFC Appeal No. 23-1147
Appellant Opening brief filed 04/03/2023
Appellee Response brief filed 05/15/2023
Appellant Reply brief filed 07/05/2023
Awaiting Oral Hearing
106126 Broad Institute v. Toolgen, Inc.
14 December 2020
Proceedings suspended 26 September 2022 (awaiting CAFC mandate in 106,115)
106127 Regents of U.C. v. Toolgen, Inc.
14 December 2020
Proceedings suspended 26 September 2022 (awaiting CAFC mandate in 106,115)
106132 Regents of U.C. v. Sigma-Aldrich
21 June 2021
Proceeding suspended 14 December 2022 (awaiting CAFC mandate in 106,115)
106133 Broad Institute v. Sigma-Aldrich
21 June 2021
Proceedings suspended 14 December 2022 (awaiting CAFC mandate in 106,115)
106137 Twitter v. Onepatont
28 December 2022
Decision on Motions Issued 01/12/2014
Judgment Issued 01/12/2024


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *