Federal Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing of Decision in Case Involving Constitutionality of Administrative Patent Judge Appointments

    On March 23, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declined to review its October 2019 en banc panel decision which found the appointment of administrative patent judges (APJs) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) unconstitutional because APJs are appointed as if they are “inferior officers” but vested with authority reserved for Senate-confirmed “principal officers.”

    The Federal Circuit reclassified APJs as “inferior officers” by granting the USPTO Director the authority to fire APJs at will and without cause.

    Read more at The National Law Review

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