USPTO Tells Fed. Circ. Precedential Opinions Get Deference

Law360 (September 18, 2019, 5:08 PM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit should defer to decisions from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's precedent-setting panel interpreting the America Invents Act, so long as the decisions are reasonable, the patent office told the court Tuesday.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said in a court filing that the Precedential Opinion Panel's decisions "readily qualify" for Chevron deference. Derived from a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court case, the doctrine obligates courts to defer to an agency's reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous law.

Calling the AIA a complex statute, the USPTO said there is a need for "agency expertise" to fill in gaps. The...

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