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Intellectual Property Law

Patent and Trademark Office

2019

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A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jul 2019

A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) has long relied on active appellate review to bring uniformity and clarity to patent law. It initially treated the PTO the same as the federal district courts, reviewing its factual findings for clear error and its legal conclusions de novo. Following reversal by the Supreme Court in Dickinson v. Zurko, the Federal Circuit began giving greater deference to PTO factual findings. But it continued to review the PTO’s legal conclusions de novo, while coding an expansive list of disputed issues in patent cases as legal conclusions, even when they ...