Bloomberg Law
June 22, 2021, 9:52 AM

High Court Patent Review Ruling Helps Agency Head Shape Results

Perry Cooper
Perry Cooper
Legal Reporter
Matthew Bultman
Matthew Bultman

The U.S. Supreme Court decision that patent office judge decisions must be subject to the agency director’s authority could help the office iron out important issues before appeal.

Congress violated the Constitution’s appointments clause when it set up the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Chief Justice John Roberts said in the court’s controlling opinion. To remedy the problem, the court gave the Patent and Trademark Office director the power to overturn decisions the board makes through the inter partes review process.

The decision could allow the director to smooth out the edges of sticky issues of administrative and patent ...

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