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Hunting Titan, Inc. v, DynaEnergetics Europe GmbH

Hunting Titan, Inc. petitioned for inter partes review of claims 1–15 of U.S. Patent No. 9,581,422, asserting 16 grounds of unpatentability based on theories of anticipation and obviousness, including allegations that the claims were anticipated by Schacherer, U.S. Patent No. 9,689,223. The Board instituted trial on all grounds and ultimately agreed with Hunting Titan, finding all of the original claims unpatentable.

After the petition was instituted, DynaEnergetics Europe GmbH, the patent owner, moved to amend the ’422 patent to add proposed substitute claims 16–22. Hunting Titan opposed the motion to amend, advancing only obviousness grounds. Although Hunting Titan did not assert that Schacherer anticipated the proposed substitute claims, the Board determined that the original and proposed substitute claims alike were unpatentable as anticipated by Schacherer. DynaEnergetics requested rehearing and Precedential Opinion Panel review of the Board’s denial of the motion to amend. The Panel granted DynaEnergetics’s request for rehearing, vacated the Board’s decision denying DynaEnergetics’s motion to amend, and then—after concluding that Hunting Titan had not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that proposed substitute claims 16–22 are unpatentable— granted the motion to amend the ’422 patent to add the proposed substitute claims.

Hunting Titan appeals the Precedential Opinion Panel’s vacatur of the Board’s decision denying the motion to amend, and DynaEnergetics cross-appeals the Board’s decision finding the original claims of the ’422 patent anticipated by Schacherer. We affirm on both grounds.

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