Grit Energy Solutions, LLC v. Oren Technologies, LLC, Appeal No. 2019-1063 (Fed. Cir.. April 30, 2020).

Grit Energy filed a petition for inter partes review against Oren’s U.S. Patent No. 8,585,341 pertaining to systems of storing and discharging proppants, such as sand. The PTAB found the Grit Energy did not satisfy its burden to show that the claims of the ‘341 patent were obvious.

On appeal, Grit Energy argued that the PTAB’s decision was not supported by substantial evidence. Oren countered that Grit Energy lacked Article III standing to appeal in federal court.

Oren had previously sued Grit Energy on the ‘341 patent, and the litigation was dismissed without prejudice. The Federal Circuit was persuaded by Grit Energy’s argument that Oren could file suit again since the statute of limitations had not expired, and therefore Grit Energy possessed Article III standing. Slip op. at 15.

Next, the Federal Circuit reviewed the non-obviousness judgment on the merits, and determined that the judgment was not supported by substantial evidence. The Federal Circuit vacated the judgment and remanded the case back to the PTAB for further proceedings.