Late last week, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued an order denying a motion for recusal and vacatur filed by patent owner Centripetal Networks, which had previously alleged that an administrative patent judge (APJ) on the PTAB panel had an improper financial interest in Cisco. Centripetal had previously obtained a $1.9 billion damages verdict ($2.7 billion including the royalty award) in U.S. district court against Cisco for infringement of the patent at issue in the PTAB action. The strongly worded order, which also denied in part Centripetal’s motions for rehearing, found that the APJ’s financial interests did not violate the executive branch employee ethics rules to which APJs are subject during PTAB proceedings.
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