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    Arent Fox Wins Inter Partes Review Decision Upholding Gowan Company’s Patent

    May 3, 2017

    On April 28, Arent Fox LLP and attorneys Jeff B. Vockrodt and Alexander H. Spiegler secured a final written decision in favor of Gowan Company, a family-owned developer, registrant, and marketer of crop protection products, seeds, and fertilizers, that confirmed all challenged claims of Gowan’s patent covering its Permit Plus® Herbicide. The decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board involved an inter partes review proceeding instituted on May 2, 2016. The decision can be found here.
     
    In its institution decision, the PTAB found there was a reasonable likelihood that all of Gowan’s challenged claims were unpatentable. But during the proceeding, Gowan provided evidence that its claims were patentable over the primary prior art reference and showed another document was not a prior art “printed publication.” As a result, the PTAB concluded that all of the challenged claims are patentable—an infrequent outcome given official statistics show the PTAB confirms only 13 percent of challenged chemical patent claims after institution.
     
    This is the second successful defense of Gowan’s patent covering its Permit Plus® Herbicide. In October 2015, the PTAB denied institution of an inter partes review trial after Arent Fox’s attorneys showed that the patent challenger failed to name all real parties-in-interest.   

    Arent Fox's Chemical & Life Sciences group works with startups, medium-sized companies and multinationals to deliver the highest quality of service in the fields of chemistry, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Our attorneys and patent agents prepare patent applications, counsel clients on licensing and opinion issues, and engage in litigation and post-grant proceedings at the US Patent & Trademark Office.

    Permit Plus® is a registered trademark of Nissan Chemical Industries Ltd.