PTAB Designates as Precedential the General Plastics Decision on Follow-On Petitions

| Benjamin Anger

On October 18, 2017, the PTAB designated as “precedential” a major portion of its prior decision in General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Canon Kabushki Kaisha. The decision was previously designated “informative,” but now, as a “precedential” decision, binds all members of the Board.

The PTAB “precedential” designation was limited to Section II.B.4.i. of the decision, which adopts the seven factors for evaluating follow-on petitions first laid out in NVIDIA Corp. v. Samsung Elec. Co., IPR2016-00134, Paper 9 (P.T.A.B. May 4, 2016). The expanded panel in General Plastic cautioned that “the absence of any restrictions on follow-on petitions would allow petitioners the opportunity to strategically stage their prior art and arguments in multiple petitions, using our decisions as a roadmap, until a ground is found that results in the grant of review.”