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Venable associate Meaghan Kent moderated the panel “Navigating Patent Challenges under the America Invents Act,” at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA on June 26, 2014. The guest panelists were the Hon. Michael Tierney, Lead Administrative Patent Judge, Trial Section, Patent Trial and Appeal Board; the Hon. Dana Sabraw, Judge, United States District Court, Southern District of California; and Cliff Ford, Executive Director and Senior Patent Counsel, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In a June 26, 2014 blog post, Patent Docs, a biotech and pharma patent law and news blog, featured a recap of the panel. Offering some interesting statistics on Inter Partes Review (IPR) petitions, Kent said 1,542 IPR petitions have been filed as of June 18, 2014, and of those, 87 relate to biotechnology and pharmaceutical patents. Even though this only represents 6% of the total, it far exceeds the amount anyone expected when the America Invents Act (AIA) was passed. The statistics, Kent explained, suggest that IPRs are growing more popular every month. IPR petitions make up about 88% of all post-grant patent challenges, while the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents constitutes about 12%. There have been no Post-Grant Review petitions to date, most likely due to the fact that they are only available to patents issuing from applications filed since March 16, 2013.