Inter Partes Review
Inter Partes Review of any U.S. patent, regardless of priority date and issue date, may be requested, provided the nine month period for instituting Post Grant Review has passed (if the patent was eligible for PGR), and provided the petition for IPR is filed not more than one year after the petitioner has been served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent. As in Post Grant Review, a party petitioning for Inter Partes Review may participate in the Review but is estopped from raising in a later proceeding any basis for invalidation that it raised or reasonably could have raised in the Inter Partes Review. Also like PGR but unlike Ex Parte and the formerly available Inter Partes Reexamination, Inter Partes Reviews are conducted and decided by a tribunal of Administrative Patent Judges, rather than patent examiners, and both procedures permit some limited discovery. For a comparison of these and other differences and similarities, see Ex Parte/Inter Partes/Post Grant Comparison.
In August 2012, the PTO issued new rules governing the new post grant procedures established by the AIA. For more on these procedures and rules, see Final AIA Rules for Post Grant Review, Inter Partes Review and Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents.