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Proving that even the driest of constitutional issues can have significant practical effect, the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard argument in United States v. Arthrex. Before the Court was whether administrative judges of the PTAB have been appointed unconstitutionally.
Proving that even the driest of constitutional issues can have significant practical effect, the United States Supreme Court recently heard argument in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., et al., No. 19-1434. Before the Court was whether administrative judges (APJs) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) have been appointed unconstitutionally under the America Invents Act (2011), particularly in view of their adjudicatory function in connection with inter partes review proceedings (IPRs). More specifically, are such judges “principal officers” under the Appointments Clause of Article II, Section, Two, Clause Two of the U.S. Constitution such that, to pass muster, they must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate? Or are they instead “inferior” officers, properly appointed by the Commerce Secretary in consultation with the Director of the USPTO (Director)?
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By Stan Soocher
To survive preemption under §301 of the Copyright Act, courts consider whether a state law claim in a lawsuit has an “extra element” that qualitatively distinguishes it from a federal copyright claim. Courts typically find that state law claims, such as breach of contract, have an extra element. Other state law claims, such as conversion, get varying court determinations as to whether they are preempted.
By Darin Snyder, Brad Garcia, Amy Liang, and Daniel Silverman
In the past year, the Federal Circuit has repeatedly required the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to transfer patent infringement suits from that district to more convenient venues, and in doing so it has provided increasingly specific — and often pointed — guidance to courts and litigants on the appropriate analysis for transfer motions.
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Unicolors v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz to address the following question: “Did the Ninth Circuit err in breaking with its own prior precedent and the findings of other circuits and the Copyright Office in holding that 17 U.S.C. §411 requires referral to the Copyright Office where there is no indicia of fraud or material error as to the work at issue in the subject copyright registration?”
By Scott Graham
The agency announced that the Department of Commerce has applied to register the USPTO’s marks in a bid to crack down on scammers who are impersonating the agency.