On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, No. 15-446, affirming the Federal Circuit’s closely divided decision on the bar to reviewing Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) decisions to institute inter partes review proceedings and the standard used by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) for construing the claims of challenged patents. The Supreme Court’s ruling will disappoint those who had hoped to change the standard by which the PTAB conducts inter partes reviews through the courts, rather than through Congress or the PTO itself. The manner in which the majority framed the case also offers hints about the Court’s views of today’s patent landscape and the deference that may be granted to the PTAB in future decisions, should the Court decide to grant more petitions for certiorari in this area.
Specific topics covered by the briefing will include:
- A review of the statutory history, case law, and legal proceedings leading up to the decision
- A summary of the opinion, including:
- the unanimous reasoning behind the Court’s deference to the standard employed by the PTO in IPR proceedings
- the discussion by the majority and the partial dissent of the reviewability of PTAB institution decisions
- The potential impact of the decision on pending and future IPR proceedings
- The significance for future cases of the manner in which the Court framed the issues