As background, in Proppant, the POP addressed the following issues:
- Under 35 U.S.C. § 315(c) may a petitioner be joined to a proceeding in which it is already a party?
- Does 35 U.S.C. § 315(c) permit joinder of new issues into an existing proceeding?
- Does the existence of a time bar under § 315(b), or any other relevant facts, have any impact on the first two questions?
The POP determined that § 315(c) “provides discretion to allow a petitioner to be joined to a proceeding in which it is already a party and provides discretion to allow joinder of new issues into an existing proceeding.” IPR2018-00914, Paper 38, at 4.
In Facebook, Inc., v. Windy City Innovations, LLC, the Federal Circuit reversed the POP opinion. 953 F.3d 1313 (Fed. Cir. 2020) (the “Decision”). Specifically, the court held that “[t]he clear and unambiguous text of § 315(c) does not authorize same-party joinder, and does not authorize the joinder of new issues.” Decision at 1322.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Reverses PTAB’s Precedential Opinion Panel on Aspects of Joinder