The 2011 America Invents Act was intended to reduce costly delays and unnecessary litigation in the U.S. patent system. Among other changes, the Act created a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) within the Patent Office to review third-party claims that a patent was inappropriately granted and to adjudicate disputes arising out of infringement claims. Critics argue that the PTAB is unconstitutional because it has the power to revoke an already granted patent without due process in an Article III court, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the law. This fall, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could result in the PTAB being held unconstitutional – Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group. This case also raises an even bigger question of the relationship between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit, a special court created by Congress to serve as experts on intellectual property issues: If Congress created the Federal Circuit to be the arbiter of IP cases, why does the Supreme Court reverse the Federal Circuit so often?
This Congressional Civil Justice Academy briefing featured:
George W. Hicks, Jr.
Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Partner, Paul Hastings LLP
Moderator: Devlin Hartline
Assistant Director, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Antonin Scalia Law School