to have the action dismissed because it was an “abstract idea.” The presiding judge denied that motion. That was when Itron stepped in and petitioned to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the case in Delaware, where there would have been a jury trial, was stayed.
According to Paul, “Itron petitioned and challenged a handful of claims from the independent claim that I was asserting and they ended up getting them all invalidated [revoked] based on obviousness.”
His patent was killed based on obviousness, which is a highly technical decision, not a legal one.
The problem with the PTAB Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) claiming obviousnsess is that APJs are not trained or experienced patent examiners. Most have very little to no technical knowledge and are, for the most part, attorneys from big law firms. As Paul puts it, “You have to understand the state of the art. And you have to imagine what a person of ordinary skill in the art would think, and then decide if you have that inventive step that goes beyond that.”
APJs are not capable of correctly making this determination.