IPRs Held to be Constitutional

The USPTO began operation of the Patent Trail and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) under the power made available to it by the American Invents Act in 2012. Since then, the PTAB has been the forum of choice to challenge the validity of existing patents through a process called Inter Partes Review (“IPR”). However, patents are private property rights and the long-standing norm has been that these kinds of rights should only be taken away in an Article III forum (judge or jury).  The case of Oil States v. Greene’s Energy Group, et al. sought to settle once and for all the constitutionality of having an Article I (executive branch) tribunal extinguish patent rights.