The PTAB rejects Microsoft's attempt to institute an IPR proceeding almost 7 years after being served with a complaint involving the patent-at-issue
In Microsoft Corporation v. Virnetx Inc., Microsoft filed a petition seeking inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 7,188,180 ("the '180 patent") on May 19, 2014. The '180 patent was asserted in a complaint for VirnetX Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. 6:07-cv-00080 (E.D. Tex. filed April 5, 2007) ("the 2007 complaint"), and a complaint for VirnetX Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. 6:10-cv-00094 (E.D. Tex. filed March 17, 2010) ("the 2010 complaint"). The '180 Patent also is involved in VirnetX Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., Docket No. 6:13-cv-00351 (E.D. Tex.) ("the 2013 complaint") as well as other pending litigation, two inter partes reexaminations (one concluded and one pending), and a second, concurrently filed inter partes review.
The issue before the Board was whether Section 315(b)'s one year time limitation to file a petition after being served with a complaint barred Petitioner's IPR in light of the 2007 and 2010 complaints or whether the time should run from the service of the 2013 complaint:
Petitioner was served with a complaint alleging infringement of the '180 patent on three occasions. The first complaint (i.e., the 2007 complaint) was served on April 5, 2007, and the second complaint (i.e., the 2010 complaint) was served on March 17, 2010. The 2007 complaint and the 2010 complaint were both served more than one year prior to the date on which the Petitioner filed the present Petition requesting inter partes review (February 4, 2014). The third complaint (i.e., the 2013 complaint) was served less than one year prior to the date on which the Petitioner filed the present Petition requesting inter partes review...As described above, 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) states that an inter partes review may not be instituted if the petition is filed more than one year after the date of service on Petitioner of a complaint alleging infringement of the patent.