What is Inter Partes Review?

Inter partes review is a trial proceeding conducted at the Board to review the patentability of one or more claims in a patent only on a ground that could be raised under §§ 102 or 103, and only on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications. Inter partes review corresponds with post grant review, such that for first-inventor-to-file patents, inter partes review process begins with a third party filing a petition after the later of either: (1) 9 months after the grant of the patent or issuance of a reissue patent; or (2) if a post grant review is instituted, the termination of the post grant review.

These deadlines do not apply to first-to-invent patents. An inter partes review may be instituted upon a showing that there is a reasonable likelihood that the petitioner would prevail with respect to at least one claim challenged. If the proceeding is instituted and not dismissed, a final determination by the Board will be issued within 1-1 ½ years. Inter partes review applies to any patent issued before, on, or after September 16, 2012.