Today in Top Ten No. (4) Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC v. Lee, __ U.S. __ (2016)(Breyer, J.), the Court unanimously affirmed the Federal Circuit ruling insofar as it has sustained the PTO’s “broadest reasonable interpretation” (BRI) standard for claim interpretation in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding.
Ambiguous Statute Leaving the Door Open to PTO Rulemaking: The Court determined that the IPR statute was ambiguous. Will the patent community now join forces to seek fresh rulemaking to reconsider the BRI standard? Will a new, more patent friendly Administration come to lead the PTO to permit such rulemaking?
The “Smart Money”, Spot On: “Last week “Federal Circuit Judge S. Jay Plager said [ ] that the ‘smart money’ is on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board maintaining its [BRI] standard for reading patent claims[.]” Jimmy Hoover, Fed. Circ. Judge Foresees PTAB Win In High Court Case, Law360, Washington (June 15, 2016, 6:50 PM ET).
Other Issues: The opinion also considered other issues involved with IPR proceedings which will be considered in a later post. On one point, the Court was divided; plural opinions were issued.