May 9, 2018

Supreme Court Upholds Inter Partes Review of Patents as Procedures Used in These Proceedings Continue to Evolve


The Supreme Court recently issued two important patent decisions concerning post‑grant review practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

In Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, No. 16–712 (Apr. 24, 2018), the Court held that inter partes reviews (IPRs) do not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. In SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, No. 16-969 (Apr. 24, 2018), the Court held that a statutory provision in the Patent Act requires the PTAB to issue patentability decisions on every patent claim challenged in an IPR petition.

These decisions confirm that IPRs will remain a significant feature of patent rights adjudication and as the procedures of these proceedings change, their strategic use by stakeholders will continue to evolve.

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