29 April 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Continues To Weaken Patents

The U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Oil States Energy Services v. Greene's Energy Group, has upheld the validity of the inter partes review process that allows the validity of a patent to be challenged in the Patent and Trademark Office against a challenge to the fact that it was made in a non-Article III court forum without access to a jury. This process provides a means of challenging a patent, as in the case at hand, in parallel with infringement litigation in an Article III court.

In SAS Institute v. INACU decided the same day, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if the patent office considered any claims presented in its discretionary consideration of an inter partes review petition, that it must given a reasoned resolution of all of the claims presented, even though the PTO has discretion to deny inter partes review summarily as to all claims presented.

Both ruling favor people challenging the validity of patents over people seeking to enforce patents granted by the PTO.

The follows a long line of U.S. Supreme Court cases almost always weakening patent protections often created judicially by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit which hears all patent appeals. See, e.g., here, here, and here.

No comments: