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Patent Death Squad Judges Can Be Fired, U.S. Appeals Court Says

  • Appeals court says judge appointments were unconstitutional
  • Review board popular with companies like Apple, Google
Leahy Delays Markup of Patent Bill Companies Oppose

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

A U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday that judges on a patent review panel were unconstitutionally appointed, casting a cloud over some of its work.

The ruling ordered a new hearing before different judges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s review board in a challenge filed by Smith & Nephew Plc over an Arthrex Inc. patent for a surgical device. The court suggested other pending patent challenges may suffer the same fate.