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Intellectual Property Patent Licensing and Transactions Patent Litigation United States Supreme Court

Supreme Court Gives Inter Partes Review the Green Light

Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group

Is inter partes review of a patent grant compatible with Article III and the Seventh Amendment? That was the question presented in Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group and the U.S. Supreme Court answered in the affirmative.

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Is inter partes review of a patent grant compatible with Article III and the Seventh Amendment? That was the question presented in Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group, No. 16-712 (April 24, 2018) and the U.S. Supreme Court answered in the affirmative. In a 7–2 decision authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court held that a patent grant is a “public right” and thus may be modified or revoked by the executive branch without going through full-dress judicial proceedings in the federal courts. As a result, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) can continue to reassess and nix mistakenly granted patents at relatively low cost to challengers.

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