Analysis

New Arthrex Powers Put Spotlight On USPTO Director Search

Law360 (June 21, 2021, 9:28 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday theoretically gave the next director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office expansive new power to determine the validity of patents, but practical and political considerations will likely limit the eventual nominee's ability to wield it, attorneys say.

In U.S. v. Arthrex, the high court concluded that for decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to pass constitutional muster, the USPTO director must have the authority to review and overturn them.

The board's decisions had previously been insulated from review by the director, and the expanded power attracted attention from lawmakers on Monday. When...

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