Petition for Inter Partes Review by Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

On April 24, 2017, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) issued an order in an inter partes review regarding a petition filed by Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Petitioner”).  In the order, the Board stayed a co-pending and related reexamination proceeding, pending the termination or completion of the inter partes review proceeding.  The order comes just days after the Board issued a decision, on April 21, 2017, to institute the inter partes review.  The instituted inter partes review involves the patentability of claims 57-59 recited in U.S. Patent No. 6,685,730 (“the ‘730 Patent”).  The ‘730 Patent is owned by William Marsh Rice University and is drawn to optically-absorbing nanoparticles for enhanced tissue repair.  In the institution decision, the Board granted the institution of the inter partes review because the Petitioner had demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of prevailing in showing that the challenged claims were unpatentable over various patent documents under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and/or 103.  The inter partes review remains pending at the Board and is captioned IPR2017-00046.

By:  Jacqueline A. DiRamio

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