PTAB Wrongly Blocked Bid to Correct Patent

Written October 3, 2019

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on October 1, 2019, held that the US Patent and Trademark Office abused its discretion when it rejected Honeywell International Inc.'s request to correct a mistake in its refrigeration system patent. Honeywell International Inc. v. Arkema Inc., Fed. Cir., Docket Nos. 18-01151, 18-01153, 10/1/19.

Honeywell’s rival, Arkema Inc., had challenged the validity of Honeywell’s US Patent No. 9,157,017, which describes compounds used in refrigeration systems. Honeywell’s patent application had included a list of applications on related inventions in a family of patent applications with earlier filing dates.

Honeywell inadvertently missed changing the priority applications, after amending all of its patent claims, and wanted to fix that after Arkema challenged the patent.

The PTAB didn’t review Honeywell’s motion for leave to seek a correction certificate and prohibited Honeywell from filing a motion to petition the PTO director. The Federal Circuit tossed out the PTAB ruling canceling Honeywell’s patent.