Petition for Inter Partes Review by Jiawei Technology (USA) Ltd., IPR2014-00936 (PTAB August 21, 2015, Order) (Saindon, APJ)
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Limited Liability Company Not Required to Identify Sole Member as Real Party in Interest in IPR Petition
The Board denied the patent owner's motion to terminate the proceeding based on a failure to name the petitioner limited liability company's sole member as a real party in interest. "[T]here is a rebuttable presumption that a petitioner’s identification of real parties in interest is accurate. However, when a patent owner provides sufficient rebuttal evidence that reasonably brings into question the accuracy of the petitioner’s identification, the ultimate burden of proof remains with the petitioner to establish that it has complied with the statutory requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 312(a)(2) . . . We . . . determine that [the sole member of the petitioner LLC] was not a RPI in this proceeding at the time Petitioner filed its Petition. In general, 'rarely will one fact, standing alone, be determinative' of the RPI issue. . . . [N]o evidence before us indicates that [the member company] is accused of infringing Patent Owner’s patent. . . . [Petitioner] contributed funds towards this proceeding, but not [the member company] . . . [The member company] is the sole member of [the petitioner]. In that sense, [the member company] exercises control over [the petitioner] generally. . . . [However] Patent Owner has only provided evidence of theoretical control, by way of corporate structure, but has not provided sufficient evidence that [the member company] had any actual control over [the petitioner's] participation in this proceeding. . . .[The member company] and [petitioner] share the same officers, but Patent Owner has not provided sufficient evidence that persuades us that the officers had the ability to, or in fact did, blur the lines between their respective roles in the organizations."