The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today vacated and remanded a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on two related inter partes reviews (IPRs), explaining that the Board’s determination that “prior art consisting of patents or printed publications” includes applicant admitted prior art (AAPA) was incorrect. The CAFC nonetheless remanded the case for the PTAB to decide “whether Apple’s petition nonetheless raises its § 103 challenge on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications.” Apple petitioned the PTAB to review the claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,063,674. In two separate decisions, the PTAB found several claims unpatentable under Section 103, basing its finding on a ground raised by Apple that relied in part on AAPA and a prior art patent. Apple also challenged the claims as unpatentable under Section 103 based on two prior patents and one publication, but the Board said that Apple had not proven unpatentability on this ground.

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