Patent News

Nov. 28, 2017

Conservatives For Property Rights: Oil States Open Letter

We are writing to call your attention to a case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which we believe all conservatives should be aware of. If wrongly decided, Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group may be the next Kelo v. City of New London decision. At bottom, the case will decide whether patent rights – which are enshrined in our Constitution – are fundamental private property rights, or something less. If the Court adopts the latter perspective, it would radically change the American view of property rights and endanger an innovation edge enjoyed by American companies and consumers alike.

Constitutional conservatives are watching closely to see whether the Court will protect our patent rights, or instead allow for the continued degradation of these rights. In Oil States, the Justices will be asked to decide whether a rogue, out-of-control bureaucratic agency known as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is constitutional. Congress created the PTAB in 2011 as part of a “patent reform” law that attempted to make patent challenges more efficient. Instead, the law has created another administrative process for challenging patent rights, further undermining the judicial branch’s role in patent review.