The Arthrex Complex

March 11, 2021 12:00 PM - March 11, 2021 01:00 PM

The Arthrex Complex: Are Administrative Patent Judges Principal or Inferior Officers?
March 11, 2021
12:00 - 1:00 pm

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Joint presentation by Texas A&M Law Federalist Society and IP Aggies student organizations

Prof. Christopher J. Walker, Ohio State University
Prof. Jennifer Mascott, George Mason University
Prof. Glynn Lunney, Texas A&M University
Moderator: Prof. Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Texas A&M University

Since 2011, anyone looking to invalidate patents could initiate an administrative proceeding before the controversial Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a branch of the Patent Office. On March 1st, in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., the Supreme Court had oral arguments to consider the constitutionality of the PTAB's structure. The Court will be tasked with the issue of whether the administrative patent judges (APJs) who sit on the PTAB are constitutionally appointed to their positions under the U.S. Constitution's Appointments Clause. 

The APJs have the power to invalidate patent claims of inventions that inventors spent years developing. Because the patents the APJs can invalidate are property rights granted by Congress, the Court's review of the PTAB's structure will have wide-ranging impacts on intellectual property rights and the economy. 

The panel will offer all different views of Arthrex and how it should be resolved. The moderator, Professor Saraubh Vishnubhakat, will give us the background on the PTAB and frame the issue within the broader administrative law context. Whether you are interested in intellectual property, practicing before the PTAB, or administrative law, we welcome everyone to join us.

Arthrex presentation flyer