The US Supreme Court recently decided to review the USPTO's inter partes review proceedings that have been a much better way to invalidate US patents than going to federal court.
Specifically, in Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee the US Supreme Court is expected to address: (1) whether the court of appeals erred in holding that, in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board may construe claims in an issued patent according to their broadest reasonable interpretation rather than their plain and ordinary meaning; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in holding that, even if the Board exceeds its statutory authority in instituting an IPR proceeding, the Board’s decision whether to institute an IPR proceeding is judicially unreviewable.
Why is the US Supreme Court is addressing IPR?
Greg Stohr and Susan Decker's article Patent `Death Squad' Rules Draw U.S. Supreme Court Scrutiny gives one possible explanation:
"The U.S. Supreme Court will scrutinize a new system that helps technology companies like Google Inc. and Apple Inc. eliminate troublesome patent disputes without going to court. Taking up a case involving a device that alerts drivers when they are speeding, the justices agreed to decide whether an administrative board set up by Congress in 2011 is being too quick to invalidate patents.
The reviews by the board in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have been described by former federal appellate Judge Randall Rader as “death squads” for patents. The board has invalidated at least part of a disputed patent 87 percent of the time, compared with a 42 percent success rate for challenges in federal court, according to a brief by the pharmaceutical industry, which opposes the board review system."
Copyright © 2016 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.