Bloomberg Law
March 2, 2021, 7:02 AM

Justices Float Multiple Fixes to Save Patent Judge Appointments

Perry Cooper
Perry Cooper
Legal Reporter

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s powers remain up in the air after a U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in a case testing the constitutionality of board appointments.

Several conservative justices seemed inclined to agree with a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruling that PTAB judges’ authority to void patents meant they should be principal officers—nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate—rather than appointed by the Commerce secretary. But they signaled through their questioning that the Federal Circuit’s solution of severing certain job protections for the judges wasn’t enough to fix the constitutional problem.

The ...

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