CAFC Patent Cases - June 2021 #2

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Supreme Court Opinions

  1. United States v. Arthrex, Inc. (No. 19-1434, 6/21/21)
    Vacating Federal Circuit decision regarding IPRs and remanding. In split decisions, majorities of the Court (1) held that administrative patent judges were unconstitutionally acting as Principal Officers of the United States, even though they had not been appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate and (2) provided a remedy that leaves the basic IPR framework intact. The Court partially struck Section 6(c) of the patent statute so that the PTO Director, who is a Principal Officer, will have an opportunity to review PTAB decisions. “[W]e hold that 35 U.S. C. §6(c) is unenforceable as applied to the Director insofar as it prevents the Director from reviewing the decisions of the PTAB on his own.” The Court’s remedy of providing review by the Director “follows the almost-universal model of adjudication in the Executive Branch.” 

    WilmerHale hosted a webinar summarizing and analyzing this decision. A recording and materials are available here.

Precedential Federal Circuit Opinions

No precedential patent opinions.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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