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Patent Office Urges Justices to Override Ruling on Agency Judges

June 30, 2020, 5:45 PM

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to wade into a fight over the appointment of agency tribunal judges.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc. that Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges had so much power that they were principal officers that should have been appointed by the U.S. President and confirmed by the Senate. As a fix, the court severed PTAB judges’ job protections, rendering them inferior officers that could be properly appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.

The government in a...

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