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Does every patent invalidity search is conducted to overcome the threat of infringement suits imposed by their competitors? Can parties invalidate patents of their competitors without showing concerns related to infringement or product development for the similar technologies? What can be other grounds/motivating factors (except to avoid infringement) for invalidity of patents !!! What is the real need for invalidating a patent???

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Does every patent invalidity search is conducted to overcome the threat of infringement suits imposed by their competitors?

The purpose of the invalidity search is to evaluate the validity and enforceability of a patent’s claims and reaffirm a protection from future litigation's. It is also done to protect future interests, suppose a company is in a process of developing a product or process which is promising a success but suddenly a patent appears for what is being developed to prevent such efforts to go in vein they do analysis to take a call on to go ahead with the same or drop it.

Can parties invalidate patents of their competitors without showing concerns related to infringement or product development for the similar technologies?

The invalidation of competitor patents differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and venue to venue. In PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board) Any party other than the patent owner may file a petition for IPR (Inter party Reviews). but in district court you need to show real harm for bringing the invalidity suit.

What can be other grounds/motivating factors (except to avoid infringement) for invalidity of patents !!! What is the real need for invalidating a patent???

I am aware of only one situation where I came across such incident which may be one other reason which i have quoted down.

Kyle Bass through Coalition For Affordable Drugs (CFAD) challenged pharmaceutical patents, he claimed the motive was to encourage competition in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and thus bring down prices. The patent challenges drew controversy from drug companies who criticized Bass for trying to profit from successful challenges that may pressure a company's revenue and shares. When drugs come off patent and can be sold by generic drug makers, their share prices plummet and could be brought for low price.

  • This would be better if you defined some of the acronyms like IPR and PTAB. – Eric Shain Feb 19 at 22:31
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Can parties invalidate patents of their competitors without showing concerns related to infringement or product development for the similar technologies?

If you want to invalidate a patent, you can do so either through the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or through a federal district court. There are basically 3 options:

  • Post Grant Review -- available up to 9 months after grant/issuance for § 282(b)(2) or (3) grounds;
  • Inter Partes Review -- for invalidity challenge under §§ 102 or 103 grounds;
  • Federal District Court -- file for "declaratory judgment" under more general approach but requires "standing" usually requiring a "case or controversy" between litigants.

Generally invalidity relates only to the patent and claims at issue. Other company's product development/technologies are irreverent unless they are directly related to grounds for invalidating the patent/claims at issue (e.g., they're prior art, invention wasn't "invented" by inventor, etc.).

The US patent system is governed under Federal law, so the rules and procedures should be the same regardless of state/jurisdiction/venue -- although in practice different Judges/courts/circuits do show certain leanings one way or another.

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