Amicus Brief Advocating Against Tribal Sovereign Immunity Filed in PTAB Proceedings
The motion of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (“the Tribe”) is based on the misplaced theory that Tribal Sovereign Immunity is applicable to administrative proceedings before the PTAB. While the Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed that, as a matter of judicial construct, Native American Tribes (like the Tribe) can be immune from “suits” in a court absent abrogation or waiver (see Paper 81, at 8), such immunity does not extend to all government action. See, e.g., Kiowa Tribe of Okla. v. Mfg. Techs., Inc., 523 U.S. 751, 755 (1998). In this regard, a PTAB proceeding is not a “suit” in court, but instead an administrative proceeding in which the Office (through the PTAB) takes “a second look at an earlier administrative grant of a patent.” Cuozzo Speed Techs. v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131, 2144 (2016) (“Cuozzo”).