June 24, 2016. General Electric petitioned the PTAB for inter partes review of the University of Virginia’s U.S. Patent No. RE44644. The reissued patent covers an MRI method and apparatus for “lengthening the usable echo-train duration and reducing the deposition for imaging.” The Board decided to instituted inter partes review of the University of Virginia’s patent. In its decision, the Board agreed with General Electric that the challenged patent should not get the priority benefit of an earlier provisional application. The Board found that the provisional application did not meet the written description requirement because it did not provide sufficient information to show a person of ordinary skill that the inventor had full possession of the claims. As a result, a 2000 conference proceeding would quality as 35 U.S.C Section 102(b) prior art. The case is pending in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and is captioned Petition for Inter Partes Review by General Electric Company, PTAB-IPR2016-00359.
By: Una Fan