Remands Held in Abeyance Until Arthrex Exhausts Appeals

Last Friday, the Chief Judge of the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a general order directed to the growing number of Arthrex remands, now totaling over 100 cases. The order (here) explains:

Several parties in Board matters that have been subject to [remand

CAFC Provides Last Word in PTAB Appointments Clause Debate

Given the remands that have been flowing back to the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) from the Federal Circuit over the past few weeks, the writing has been on the wall as to en banc rehearing in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew Inc.  The Court officially denied rehearing today.  Still, the 62 pages of differing viewpoints offered by the Court in its denial of rehearing essentially presented the Court’s collective reasoning anyway.

The per curiam opinion explained the earlier decision in the context of the dissenting views. That is, as between striking down the AIA and severing Title 5 protections for administrative patent judges, Congress was more likely to favor the latter.


Continue Reading Arthrex & 81 PTAB Remands

CAFC Holds Petitioner to PTAB Choice

While we await the en banc determination in Arthrex/Polaris, there have been a number of recent remands back to the PTAB (i.e., where the Appointments Clause issue was first raised in the opening appellate brief). Given this, it may be that the Federal Circuit remains unimpressed with the government’s argument that failure to raise the issue before the PTAB results in forfeiture of the argument.  Still, given the supplemental briefing in Polaris as to the sufficiency of the Arthrex remedy, I am still expecting that at least this aspect of the debate is taken up en banc.

In the meantime, the Federal Circuit has made clear that the Appointments Clause issue will not benefit failed PTAB petitioners.


Continue Reading No Arthrex Relief for Failed PTAB Petitioners

Arthrex Argument Being Added to Briefs

As detailed back in December, the government has sought en banc rehearing in Arthrex. In its petition, the government revisited the bases for the Court’s October decision and encouraged the Court to also grant rehearing in the Polaris dispute so that the court might address forfeiture in Arthrex and reach the remaining issues in Polaris (which is distinguished in the petition as having seasonably argued the issue before the agency).

In its Reply of last week, the government once again focuses on forfeiture, arguing that raising an Appointments Clause issue on appeal is too late.  To emphasize the issue, the Reply lists all of the newly filed appeals raising the issue for the first time.
Continue Reading Gov’t Warns CAFC Over Growing Arthrex Docket

Gov’t Questions Fundamental Aspects of Court Decision

As promised, the government has now sought en banc rehearing in Arthrex. In its petition, the government revisits the bases for the Court’s October decision and encourages the Court to also grant rehearing in the Polaris dispute so that the court might address forfeiture in Arthrex and reach the remaining issues in Polaris (which is distinguished in the petition as having seasonably argued the issue before the agency)

I think it is safe to predict the CAFC takes this one up.


Continue Reading En Banc CAFC to Debate PTAB Appointments Clause Issue