Today, in MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Co., a panel of the Federal Circuit unanimously upheld the constitutionality of IPR proceedings, finding that delegation of patent invalidity determinations to a non-Article III Court (in this case, the PTAB) is permissible and that Article 7 of the Constitution is not violated when a patentee cannot bring a jury trial as a result of patent revocation through an IPR proceeding.
Congress Can Delegate Patent Validity Decisions to Non-Article III Courts
First, the panel noted that several Supreme Court decisions, including Thomas v. Union Carbide Agricultural Products Co., 473 U.S. 568, 571 (1985), supported delegation of analogous disputes to agencies that were non-Article III Courts. Second, the court found support in its own precedent which held that reexaminations are appropriately conducted in a non-Article III court, citing Patlex Corp. v. Mossinghoff, 758 F.2d 594 (Fed. Cir. 1985), modified on other grounds on reh’g, 771 F.2d 480 (Fed. Cir. 1985). Since IPRs and reexaminations are similar proceedings, this line of cases further supported the outcome in this case.
There Is No Right To A Jury Trial for a Patent Owner
The court similarly rejected the constitutional argument that MCM should be entitled to a jury trial under Article 7. Again citing to precedent relating to reexamination, the court found analogously that IPRs are permissible for the same reasons reexamination is permissible.
This may not be the last word, as many patent owners continue to look for constitutional angles upon which to challenge AIA proceedings.
This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney.
This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary.
The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites.
In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.