Federal Circuit Panel Holds that Collateral Estoppel Applies to Inter Partes Reexaminations
March 10, 2021
- Jason W. Rhodes
This lecture will discuss the recent Federal Circuit decision in Synqor, Inc. v. Vicor Corporation (February 2021) overturning an inter partes reexamination decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In this decision, the majority held that common law issue preclusion arising from previous reexamination decisions collaterally estopped the Board from finding the claims obvious over a particular combination of references. The dissenting opinion will also be discussed, in which Judge Dyk argued that collateral estoppel does not apply to reexamination proceedings because they are examinational (or inquisitorial) rather than adjudicatory, and do not include court-like adjudicatory procedures.