Press Release Patent Reform

Public Knowledge Applauds Supreme Court Decision Affirming Patent Office

June 20, 2016 , , ,

Today, the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, affirming the United States Patent and Trademark Office over two challenges to the agency's post-grant procedure for reviewing patents, called inter partes review. Public Knowledge filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the USPTO in this case.

The following statement may be attributed to Charles Duan, Director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge:

“The inter partes review proceeding was designed to protect the public from wrongly issued patents by providing a mechanism for members of the public to have such patents invalidated and revoked. These proceedings, as implemented by strong rules developed by the USPTO, have enabled numerous successful challenges to improper patents on a wide range of subject matter, from basic podcasting technologies to simple speedometer devices.

“Today's decision ensures that the public will maintain the strong protections of inter partes review as intended by Congress and implemented by the USPTO. By affirming the USPTO's rules designed to ensure a fair and expedient mechanism for challenging questionable patents, the Supreme Court here refuses to allow those questionable patents to go unchecked.

“Powerful special interests of patent owners opposed the USPTO before the Supreme Court, and they will almost certainly turn their efforts now toward Congress, attempting to weaken inter partes review and the protections it affords to the public. We will continue following these developments and advocating on behalf of the public interest for a balanced patent system that does not allow for the harmful assertion of overbroad, improperly granted patents.”