June 20, 2016
Partner John F. Ward is quoted in the Law360 article “Attys React To High Court's PTAB Claim Construction Ruling.” Mr. Ward provided comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) can continue to use a claim construction standard to review patents.
“There is nothing particularly surprising about the Supreme Court's Cuozzo decision — it maintains the status quo. We could hardly expect the Supreme Court to abandon the way the PTO has evaluated patent claims for over a century. But this decision will not be the final word on PTAB procedures. As Justice [Stephen] Breyer notes: ‘To the extent that Cuozzo's statistical argument takes aim at the manner in which the Patent Office has exercised its authority [i.e., denying 86 of 92 motions to amend], that question is not before us.’ It won’t be long before that question is squarely placed before the court. Cuozzo is perhaps more important as an indication that the Supreme Court will continue to accept far more patent and other IP cases than it has in the past. With three decisions in just the past week and numerous other accepted or pending petitions for certiorari, it would appear that the justices will continue to devote a significant portion of their docket to IP matters. Since IP cases seldom break along ideological lines, they are less likely than politically contentious issues to deadlock at 4–4.”
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