Supreme Court Rules Extracting Legal Fees for District Court Appeals is Unconstitutional

    On December 11, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in the matter of Peter v. NantKwest, Inc., which found that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is not entitled to receive attorneys’ fees under a statute the allows the USPTO “to recover ‘expenses’ for appeals of patent refusals to a district court.”

    The Supreme Court’s decision maintains that “expenses” and “attorneys’ fees” remain separate in the court of law, and that “the USPTO remains entitled to expenses such as travel, copying costs and reasonable expert witness fees.”

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