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Federal Circuit: In Order To Appeal USPTO Post-Grant Decision, Third Party Requestor Must Show “Injury In Fact” by Dennis Crouch, Patently-O Blog


Consumer Watchdog v. WARF and USPTO (Fed. Cir. 2014)

The Patent Act provides for a variety of administrative review proceedings that can be filed by any third party wanting to challenge the validity of an issued patent. The statute also provides the third-party requester with a right to appeal any adverse judgment to the Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit. Following these statutory guidelines, Consumer Watchdog requested review (inter partes reexamination) of WARF’s patents covering human embryonic stem cells. When the USPTO sided with WARF, Consumer Watchdog appealed. But Consumer Watchdog has a major problem with its appeal – standing. Consumer Watchdog is a public interest group who is not being directly impacted by WARFs patents other than the general indignity felt by all of us.

As the appeal was pending, the Supreme Court decided Already v. Nike and reminded courts that, under the Constitution, they only have power over actual cases and controversies. At Patently-O, we used that case as a springboard for questioning whether the statutory appellate authority was sufficient to satisfy the demands of the Constitution, and the Court immediately called for Consumer Watchdog and WARF to brief the question of standing. . . .