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posted by janrinok on Wednesday April 25 2018, @11:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the now,-let's-look-at-some-of-those-dodgy-claims dept.

World IP Review reports

Inter partes reviews (IPRs) do not violate the US Constitution and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has authority to invalidate patents.

This is the holding of the US Supreme Court, which handed down its decision in Oil States Energy Services v Greene's Energy Group today.

In June last year, the court granted[1] Oil States' petition for certiorari.

Oil States, a provider of services to oil and gas companies, had claimed that the IPR process at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) violates the right to a jury in an Article III court (a federal court established under Article III of the US Constitution).

The service provider added that although in certain situations non-Article III tribunals may exercise jurisdiction over disputes involving "public rights", this doesn't apply to IPRs because patents are private property rights.

The Supreme Court asked the government to weigh in--Noel Francisco, the acting solicitor general, submitted a brief[1] on behalf of the US government in October 2017.

"Consistent with longstanding practice, the Patent Act authorises USPTO examiners within the executive branch to determine in the first instance whether patents should be granted. That allocation of authority is clearly constitutional", he said.

Siding with the US government, in a 7-2 opinion, the Supreme Court rejected Oil States' argument and found that patents are "public" rights, not "private" in an IPR context.

"The primary distinction between IPR and the initial grant of a patent is that IPR occurs after the patent has issued. But that distinction does not make a difference here", said the court.

[1] Paywall after first article, apparently.

Also at Ars Technica.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25 2018, @03:48PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25 2018, @03:48PM (#671663)

    Any conceivable action you could either take or refrain from taking is a right.

    So, killing, theft, rape, battery, etc., are all rights?

  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday April 25 2018, @05:14PM (4 children)

    Yes. They're just ones we voluntarily surrender in order to have a less violent society.

    Consider it this way... Do you have the right to blow your nose? Why? Because there is nothing anywhere taking that right from you. We as a nation have decided that certain rights can not be exercised and maintain a civil society. Most everyone agrees to the vast majority of these prohibitions but that does not make them any less a natural right.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Wednesday April 25 2018, @06:09PM (1 child)

      by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday April 25 2018, @06:09PM (#671750)

      I'm getting a headache trying to figure out what you're actually arguing.

      Siding with the US government, in a 7-2 opinion, the Supreme Court rejected Oil States' argument and found that patents are "public" rights, not "private" in an IPR context.

      SCOTUS misunderstands what a right is.

      Any conceivable action you could either take or refrain from taking is a right.

      The Supreme Court didn't say that whatever wasn't a right. They just ruled on what type of right it is.

      And since you seem to be arguing that anything you can physically do is a right (headache intensifying...), how could TSC possibly be wrong by your logic?

      So you're arguing rights proceed from free will. I'd say it's more useful to argue that rights proceed from a collective agreement of society (often codified in law) of what they are, but hey.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26 2018, @05:58PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26 2018, @05:58PM (#672230)

      Hmm, at least you're consistent in your definition. I'm pretty sure that it's not the same definition of rights used by the Constitution at any time, though, since jury trials and restrictions on government searches are considered rights there but aren't actions and so aren't rights under your definition.

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday April 27 2018, @01:16AM

        It's not a definition, it's just a fact. If you actually read the constitution and think about why they laid it out how they did, you'll come to the conclusion that they understood this as well. Really think about it yourself and you'll see there's no other way to look at it without misunderstanding the dynamics of the situation.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.