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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: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Wednesday April 25 2018, @04:05PM

    by Arik (4543) on Wednesday April 25 2018, @04:05PM (#671670) Journal
    It is in the possession of a few qualities that are fundamental to our existence; we are discrete individuals who are able to communicate with each other and also to understand and anticipate the consequences of our actions, and we have more to gain from coöperation than conflict. Given this, a certain set of ground rules proceeds quite logically and more-or-less obviously. Virtually every society has acknowledged some of the basic values. Don't assault people, don't rape people, don't murder people. Don't force them in general. Instead we do things consensually. If someone has something you want, you don't just go grab it, you have to find something the other person wants more, so you can trade.

    This is kindergarten level stuff in virtually every culture, with differences being minor and cosmetic. Societies that have functioned very well in the past have tended to be the ones that reflected this basic understanding of justice relatively well, and as that ceases to be the case we speak of 'decline and fall.'

    Natural rights is simply a highly abstracted, western-academic codification of those basic kindergarten level rules that every society acknowledges, has to acknowledge to some degree in order to function.
    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    Starting Score:    1  point
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       Insightful=1, Interesting=1, Total=2
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
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    Total Score:   4