What The PTAB Precedent Panel Said In Its First Decision

By Michael Hawkins and Stuart Nelson (April 2, 2019, 1:32 PM EDT) -- On March 13, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a precedential decision in Proppant Express Investments LLC v. Oren Technologies LLC, holding that 35 U.S.C. § 315(c) does not provide per se prohibitions against same-party joinder and joinder of new issues, but instead "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."[1]

The precedential decision emphasized, however, that the board should exercise its discretion to authorize same-party joinder/new issue joinder "only in limited circumstances — namely,...

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