• 35 USC § 325 – Relation to civil actions, joinder, estoppel

    § 325. Relation to other proceedings or actions

    (a) INFRINGER’S CIVIL ACTION.—

    (1) POST-GRANT REVIEW BARRED BY CIVIL ACTION.—A post-grant review may not be instituted under this chapter if, before the date on which the petition for such a review is filed, the petitioner or real party in interest filed a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of the patent.

    (2) STAY OF CIVIL ACTION. —If the petitioner or real party in interest files a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of the patent on or after the date on which the petitioner files a petition for post-grant review of the patent, that civil action shall be automatically stayed until either—

    (A) the patent owner moves the court to lift the stay;

    (B) the patent owner files a civil action or counterclaim alleging that the petitioner or real party in interest has infringed the patent; or

    (C) the petitioner or real party in interest moves the court to dismiss the civil action.

    (3) TREATMENT OF COUNTERCLAIM. —A counterclaim challenging the validity of a claim of a patent does not constitute a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of a patent for purposes of this subsection.

    (b) PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIONS. —If a civil action alleging infringement of a patent is filed within 3 months after the date on which the patent is granted, the court may not stay its consideration of the patent owner’s motion for a preliminary injunction against infringement of the patent on the basis that a petition for post-grant review has been filed under this chapter or that such a post-grant review has been instituted under this chapter.

    (c) JOINDER. —If more than 1 petition for a post-grant review under this chapter is properly filed against the same patent and the Director determines that more than 1 of these petitions warrants the institution of a post-grant review under section 324, the Director may consolidate such reviews into a single post-grant review.

    (d) MULTIPLE PROCEEDINGS. —Notwithstanding sections 135(a), 251, and 252, and chapter 30, during the pendency of any post-grant review under this chapter, if another proceeding or matter involving the patent is before the Office, the Director may determine the manner in which the post-grant review or other proceeding or matter may proceed, including providing for the stay, transfer, consolidation, or termination of any such matter or proceeding. In determining whether to institute or order a proceeding under this chapter, chapter 30, or chapter 31, the Director may take into account whether, and reject the petition or request because, the same or substantially the same prior art or arguments previously were presented to the Office.

    (e) ESTOPPEL.—

    (1) PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE OFFICE.—The petitioner in a post-grant review of a claim in a patent under this chapter that results in a final written decision under section 328(a), or the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, may not request or maintain a proceeding before the Office with respect to that claim on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that post-grant review.

    (2) CIVIL ACTIONS AND OTHER PROCEEDINGS.—The petitioner in a post-grant review of a claim in a patent under this chapter that results in a final written decision under section 328(a), or the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, may not assert either in a civil action arising in whole or in part under section 1338 of title 28 or in a proceeding before the International Trade Commission under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 that the claim is invalid on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that post-grant review.

    (f) REISSUE PATENTS. —A post-grant review may not be instituted under this chapter if the petition requests cancellation of a claim in a reissue patent that is identical to or narrower than a claim in the original patent from which the reissue patent was issued, and the time limitations in section 321(c) would bar filing a petition for a post-grant review for such original patent.

    Source:

    Pub. L. No. 112-29, § 6(d), 125 Stat. 307-08 (Sept. 16, 2011)

    Effective Date:

    Pub. L. No. 112-29, § 6(f), 125 Stat. 311 (Sept. 16, 2011)