When a Final Written Decision has been received in an America Invents Act (AIA) patent office trial, the Petitioner is estopped from “request[ing] or maintain[ing] another proceeding before the Office on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised” during the proceeding. This estoppel also applies to real parties in interest and privies of the Petitioner. See 35 U.S.C. §§ 315(e)(1) and 325(e)(1).
In recent decisions and orders, the PTAB has applied this estoppel to Petitioners involved in later filed patent office trials in different ways. The estoppel does not prohibit the PTAB from reaching a Final Written Decision in a subsequent patent office trial. The PTAB has the discretion to (1) allow the subsequent trial to proceed without the Petitioner’s participation, (2) terminate the subsequent trial, or (3) terminate certain claims from the subsequent trial when appropriate.