Monday, June 21, 2021

Inter Partes Review Survives Constitutional Challenge

The Supreme Court today handed down its opinion in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., concerning whether the authority vested in judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board is consistent with the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  There are four different opinions commanding different views, but the bottom line appears to be that (1) a 5-4 majority of the justices believes that the authority vested in the board to issue decisions on behalf of the Executive Branch, without further review by the Director of the USPTO, is unconstitutional, but (2) a 7-1 majority believes that the remedy for this violation, assuming it exists, is to remand the matter to the (currently Acting) director to review the decision rendered by the PTAB judges in this case.  So, if I understand correctly, the PTAB may continue to operate, as long as there is an opportunity for the director to review the PTAB judges' decisions (before any subsequent appeal to the Federal Circuit).   Bottom line, inter partes review survives, thank goodness.

No comments:

Post a Comment