Inter partes review ("IPR") is a powerful alternative or supplement to patent litigation in a court of law that permits a party to challenge a patent's validity before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board ("PTAB") of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The popularity of the IPR process is made evident by Figure 1 below. As depicted in Figure 1, since IPR was made available by the American Invents Act (AIA) in September 2012, the number of petitions filed each month has, as a general matter, continued to rise.
The "preponderance of the evidence" standard for invalidating a patent before the PTAB is lower than the "clear and convincing" standard before a district court in patent litigation. The statistics reflect this significant advantage. In the vast majority of cases where the PTAB institutes an IPR, one or more claims of the patent are invalidated. Figure 2 below presents data relating to the frequency of, and basis for, claim invalidation during an IPR.