Washington – The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the Arthrex case involving patent issues. The high court was asked to decide whether the judges of the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (PTAB) are principal officers who must be appointed by the President with consent from the Senate, and whether, assuming they are, the Federal Circuit’s remedy of severing civil service protections properly cured the defect. The justices found that the judges were not subject to sufficient supervision by the Director, and fixed the problem by permitting the Director to unilaterally review decisions of the PTAB.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association had filed an amicus brief for this Supreme Court case involving the status of Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges.
The following can be attributed to CCIA patent counsel Josh Landau:
“While we disagree that PTAB judges were not already subject to sufficient supervision by the Director, we are pleased that the Court has made a simple, common-sense revision that provides for Director review.
“The Court’s decision preserves the significant economic and practical benefits of intre parties review (IPR) and will help make sure that we don’t go back to the high frequency of expensive and abusive patent litigation that existed before the America Invents Act passed.”