On Monday, December 17, 2018, the PTAB denied institution of Supercell Oy’s PGR2018-00066 petition. The challenged patent, U.S. Pat. No. 9,873,044, which discloses a Method for controlling a server device, a server device, a computer-readable recording medium, and a game system. The petition proposed three grounds of rejection (one under §101 and two under §112). The Board found Supercells’ proposed §101 rejection unpersuasive because the petitioner failed to demonstrate that it was more likely than not that at least one of the challenged claims was unpatentable. Supercell’s proposed §112 rejections also failed because the Board found that one of ordinary skill in the art would understand the meaning of “enabling invitations,” “detecting,” and “giving incentives” in light of the specification, and because the Board found the claims to be sufficiently definite under § 112(b).
This petition was filed as part of an ongoing arms race between GREE, Inc. and Supercell Oy in the social gaming technology field, with eighteen PTAB proceedings between the two. Supercell Oy tapped Fenwick & West to challenge 16 of GREE’s patents, and GREE has countered by using Maier & Maier PLLC (4 proceedings), Ropes & Gray (4 proceedings), Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP (4 proceedings), Oliff PLC (3 proceedings), and Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt, LLP (1 proceeding).
Overall more than half of the proceedings have been instituted (9), with four still pending the Board’s institution decision. Out of the sixteen proceedings, GREE has only successfully prevented three of the proceedings from being instituted, with Maier & Maier obtaining two of those Non-Institution Decisions.
Maier & Maier’s 50% non-institution rate dwarfs the rate for both GREE’s overall defense against Supercell’s campaign (25%) and the overall rate for PGR’s at the PTAB, which clocks in at 26.8%.
All the above statistics and information about the individual PTAB proceedings was obtained using the PostGrant Portal.
Category: Firm News