Opinions and Editorials

Nov. 11, 2023

IAM: The US patent system is weakened. New Congressional legislation could fix it by Paul Michel

Patent policy has been my focus for 35 years. I spent over two decades adjudicating major intellectual property disputes as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In the 13 years since the end of my judicial career, I have remained a consultant on numerous other high-profile cases. 

I now advocate for upgrading America’s patent system – in particular, correcting defects at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. A special tribunal created by the 2011 America Invents Act (AIA), the PTAB usually decides patent validity challenges through inter partes reviews. Because IPR applies lower standards for striking down patents than challenges in federal court, the PTAB invalidates patents much more frequently than the federal judiciary.

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