Challenges Ahead For PTAB After High Court SAS Ruling

By Timothy Riffe (April 30, 2018, 11:22 AM EDT) -- In the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, the court issued a split 5-4 decision holding that if "the Patent Office institutes an inter partes review, it must decide the patentability of all of the claims the petitioner has challenged." The court's decision rejected the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's prior rule-based policy of invoking its discretion to institute "partial institutions" of inter partes reviews on fewer than all of the challenged claims. In its ruling, the court explicitly rejected the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director's policy argument — that partial institution is efficient because it permits the board to focus on the most promising challenges and avoid spending time and resources on others. In rejecting the director's argument, the court noted that such policy argument is "properly addressed to Congress, not this Court."...

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