US Supreme Court: Congress erred in patent dispute board setup 

us supreme court law insider in
us supreme court law insider in

Snehal Upadhyay-

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress erred when setting up a board to oversee patient disputes by failing to make the judges properly accountable to the President.

With reference to the case which involves medical device company Arthrex where the Florida based company, The Naples patented the surgical device for reattaching soft tissue to bone. Arthrex sued Smith & Nephew, a British company for patent infringement in 2015.

It was challenged before the Patent Trial and Appeal board, which gave their decision on behalf of Smith & Nephew and found Arthrex’s claim unpatentable. Arthrex appealed in the Federal Court, arguing that the appointment of the judges in the panel was unconstitutional.

The case gives particular importance to patent holders and inventors including major technology companies.

The Court concluded that the federal law related to how the Patent Trial and Appeal Board functions can’t be enforced.

The court’s action resulted in the director of the Patent and Trademark Office can review and reverse any decision made by the board’s judges. The president with the confirmation from the senate appoints the director. 

The question in front of the Court was whether Congress has violated the Constitution’s appointments Clause in the way it set up the board or not.

The Biden administration and the Trump administration had told the justices that there was no issue with the setup of the congress system.

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