The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) designated as informative a decision explaining the procedure for holding oral arguments where confidential information will be discussed. Curt G. Joa, Inc. v. Fameccanica.Data S.P.A., Case No. 2016IPR-00906 (PTAB June 20, 2017) (Chagnon, APJ).
Joa filed a petition for inter partes review against a patent owned by Fameccanica. Prior to oral argument, Fameccanica filed a motion indicating that it intended to discuss confidential information during the hearing and requesting that the PTAB close a portion of the hearing to the public.
The PTAB granted Fameccanica’s motion subject to certain conditions. The PTAB stated that each side would be allocated no more than 15 minutes of argument relating to confidential information in a session closed to the public. The parties would proceed with their presentations during the closed session in the same order as their presentations in the open session. The PTAB noted that if a party wanted allocate more time to the open portion of the hearing, it could do so by informing the PTAB at the beginning of the hearing, but under no circumstances would the party be allocated more than 15 minutes during the closed session. The PTAB also directed to the parties to refrain from including any confidential information in any demonstrative exhibit. Instead, during the portion of the hearing closed to the public, the parties could direct the panel to specific confidential information being discussed by exhibit, page and line number in the record.