Federal Circuit Declines to Hear Challenge to Patent Board’s Decision Even Though Decision Allegedly Involved Adjudicating Issues Subject to Arbitration

Carlton Fields
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Carlton Fields

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals recently declined to hear an appeal or grant a writ of mandamus seeking review of a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to institute inter partes review proceedings even though those proceedings were allegedly subject to arbitration.

MaxPower Semiconductor Inc. sought to appeal the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision to institute inter partes review proceedings involving four of MaxPower’s patents. In the alternative, MaxPower sought a writ of mandamus to review the board’s decision. In relevant part, MaxPower argued that “the collateral order doctrine warrant[ed] immediate review because its challenge implicates questions of whether the Board can institute proceedings that are subject to arbitration.”

The Federal Circuit rejected MaxPower’s arguments for review, including its argument that it was entitled to immediate review because the question whether the board could institute proceedings subject to arbitration was implicated. The court explained that “[i]f MaxPower [was] truly not raising matters that are absolutely barred from appellate review … then MaxPower can meaningfully raise its arbitration-related challenges after the Board’s final written decisions. We therefore cannot say that MaxPower has established jurisdiction to review these decisions under the collateral order doctrine.”

In re MaxPower Semiconductor, Inc., No. 2021-146 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 8, 2021).

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