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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 bob_super on Wednesday April 25 2018, @05:23PM (4 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday April 25 2018, @05:23PM (#671709)

    > SCOTUS misunderstands what a right is. Why does this not surprise me?

    Because you don't have enough training in law to understand what you're talking about.
    SCOTUS deals with rights every day. Down to the finest minutiae that lower courts could agree on. Are you Dunning-Krugering ?

    SCOTUS just said that the government-granted monopoly - as in: the government will deprive other people of their right to copy your idea - is not a personal right, or property.
    That license to a monopoly is granted by the government, through USPTO. It is transferable and saleable, so owners want to consider it as full-blown property, rightfully protected from seizure by anything but a court, when SCOTUS says it is merely a license.
    It could always be taken away by the courts, but now it officially can be taken away by the same people who grant it.

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  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday April 25 2018, @05:52PM (3 children)

    Law has nothing to do with rights. Rights existed before law and will exist after every law currently in existence has faded to dust. Our founders understood this, which is why they wrote the constitution as they did; to prohibit the government from infringing specific pre-existing rights rather than enumerating rights affirmatively.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Wednesday April 25 2018, @06:00PM (2 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday April 25 2018, @06:00PM (#671737)

      Did I point out that this specific clause exists to prevent people from exercising their very natural right to copy ?
      I'm pretty sure "grabbing the same edible fruit" and "putting a similar sharp rock on a stick" long predate any silly notion that you could have a right not to get copied when you have a life-saving idea.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday April 25 2018, @06:28PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 25 2018, @06:28PM (#671767) Journal

        But what about profit?

        Imagine the patent licensing income to the guy (and his heirs) who "invented" fire! (It was an "invention" wasn't it? It would be profitable to license, so therefore it must be an invention!)

        --
        Islamic Fatwas = BAD; MAGA Fatwas for FBI and Judges = GOOD ?
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday April 25 2018, @06:47PM

        No, you were arguing the other side of it for some reason from my perspective. SCOTUS said it was a "right" of a different kind than they wanted. I said it was not a right at all.

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