Bloomberg Law
Oct. 7, 2019, 5:54 PM

Justices Ask Why PTO Waited So Long to Recoup Attorneys’ Fees (1)

Malathi Nayak
Malathi Nayak

U.S. Supreme Court justices grilled the Patent and Trademark Office about why it only recently began requesting attorneys’ fees from rejected patent applicants that take the agency to court.

The agency was on the defensive during oral arguments Oct. 7 as it tried to convince the high court to let it collect attorneys’ fees from biotechnology company NantKwest Inc., which sued the agency after an examiner rejected its cancer treatment patent.

Legal practitioners are closely watching the case, which could affect whether patent applicants challenge a PTO decision by suing the agency—a potentially expensive option.

The patent office wants the ...

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