Fresh From the Bench: Latest Federal Circuit Court Cases
CASE OF THE WEEK
SynQor, Inc. v. Vicor Corp., Appeal No. 2019-1704 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 22, 2021)
In this week’s Case of the Week, the Federal Circuit held that common law collateral estoppel could arise from a factual determination made in an inter partes reexamination proceeding and lead to issue preclusion in a subsequent inter partes reexamination.
The inter partes reexamination procedure was replaced with inter partes reviews in 2012 following enactment of the America Invents Act, and so the Court’s holding is necessarily limited to the handful of inter partes reexaminations still pending rehearing or appeal.
Nonetheless, the decision offers detailed guidance on when administrative determinations may be given preclusive effect, and could potentially open the door to certain issues decided in inter partes reexaminations becoming preclusive as to district court litigation or other USPTO proceedings.