February 2, 2016 – On January 29, 2016, the Patent Trials and Appeals Board granted institution of post-grant review of U.S. Patent No. 8,876,991, directed to dental instruments made of superelastic alloys. Finding that the pre-AIA priority applications of the challenged patent did not provide an enabling disclosure for the subject matter of the challenged claims, the Board determined that the patent is subject to the first-to-file provisions of the AIA, and instituted PGR on novelty, obviousness, and written description grounds.
The post-grant review is captioned PGR2015-00019. The patent is entitled “Dental and Medical Instruments Comprising Titanium.” The patent owners have asserted the ‘991 patent against the petitioner in a pending case captioned Dentsply International, Inc. v. U.S. Endodontics, LLC, Case No. 2:14-cv-00196-JRG-DHI (E. D. Tn.).
By: Sean C. McDonagh