(This article first appeared on IPWatchDog)
“Immediately upon affirming the PTAB cancellation, the same Federal Circuit panel wiped out Chrimar’s second final judgment against ALE…. The Federal Circuit identified no error by the judge or jury. Yet the PTAB unwound the verdict.”
This article has been updated to include a statement from ALE’s counsel, Jackson Walker LLP.
Yesterday, the Federal Circuit once again breached a fundamental boundary of our American system of law. This particular transgression has occurred only a handful of times, but each is more ominous than the last. If this is allowed to stand, we can no longer be considered a democratic republic, but will have become a banana republic. What is rapidly becoming routine to the patent litigation industry will create shockwaves throughout the other 12 circuit courts, upend the rule of law, and damage our nation.
The PTAB is Undermining the Judiciary
In Chrimar Systems, Inc. v. ALE USA, Inc. FKA Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise USA, Inc. (Fed. Circ. Case No. 18-2420), the Federal Circuit allowed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to overrule an Article III court and jury. That is, the Executive Branch of government directly and unequivocally has overruled the Judicial Branch, including a jury.
My friend and fellow inventor John Austermann invented a technology to send power over ethernet cable in the late 1990s. At that time, sending power over the ethernet required dedicating one of the four twisted pairs in a CAT5 cable to carry the power, meaning it could not be used for data. John figured out how to send the power over the same line that was carrying data so there was no need to sacrifice bandwidth and there was no harm to the sensitive data circuits on either end of the line. His company, Chrimar, was awarded several patents, including U.S. patent No. 8,942,107 for A Piece of Ethernet Terminal Equipment.