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High court: Congress erred in patent dispute board setup

Supreme Court
Posted at 9:57 AM, Jun 21, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says that Congress erred when it set up a board to oversee patent disputes by failing to make the judges properly accountable to the president.

Five conservative justices agreed Monday that Congress had erred, but both conservative and liberal justices agreed on the fix.

They concluded that a portion of federal law related to how the Patent Trial and Appeal Board functions can't be enforced.

The result of the court's action is that the director of the Patent and Trademark Office can review and reverse any decisions made by the board's judges.

The director is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

This particular case was to see if the way Congress set up the board violated the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, the Associated Press reported.

The Secretary of Commerce appoints the board's judges.

The justices were told both by the Trump and Biden administration that they didn't have any issue with the way Congress set up the system, the AP reported.