Federal Circuit Extends Arthrex Holding to Ex Parte Proceedings
On July 7, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), in In re: Boloro Global Limited, granted a motion by Boloro Global Limited (Boloro) to vacate and remand the decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the Board) in three ex parte appeals that affirmed an examiner’s rejection of claims of Boloro’s patent applications. Each of Boloro’s U.S. Patent Applications Nos. 14/222,613, 14/222,615, and 14/222,616 were rejected by the patent examiner as being unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101. On appeal, the Board affirmed the examiner’s rejections and denied rehearing. In August 2019, Boloro appealed the decisions to the CAFC. Subsequently, in October 2019, the CAFC issued a decision in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., which was an appeal from an inter partes review, holding that administrative patent judges (APJs) were not constitutionally appointed. In January 2020, Boloro filed a motion to vacate the Board’s decisions and remand for further proceedings consistent with the CAFC’s decision in Arthrex.