The widespread use of post-issuance patent reviews by big tech companies has been one of the defining IP trends of the last three years in the US. As they have defended themselves in cases where they are accused of infringement, so the likes of Google, Apple and Samsung have fought back using the new procedures at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to undermine claims in their accusers’ patents. The slew of reviews that Apple has filed against Smartflash Technologies, an NPE which recently won a $530 million damages award against the Cupertino-based tech company, is a case in point.

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