Sheppard Serves as Panelist on Tsai Center Patent Law Symposium

18 Nov 2021    

Christal Sheppard

Professor A. Christal Sheppard served as a panelist during a virtual session at the 18th Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues: Patent Law and Institutional Choice, hosted by the Tsai Center on Oct. 29.

The panel prof. Sheppard spoke on was titled "Arthrex, the PTAB, and the USPTO Director’s New (Temporary?) Authority over Patent Opposition Proceedings," and she was joined by Tejas N. Narechania, University of California, School of Law, and Jason Rantanen, University of Iowa College of Law.

During the discussion, Sheppard and the other panelists explored topics like the Supreme Court's ruling that the unreviewable authority of Administrative Patent Judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board was not compatible with the manner of their appointment under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. As a result, the Court invalidated a portion of the patent statute that prevented the presidentially-appointed Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from reviewing Board decisions and issuing new decisions on behalf of the Board. Since then, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued an interim procedure for Director review of Board decisions. But members of Congress have suggested that a more radical restructuring of review authority may be appropriate. This panel will consider these recent developments, with an eye toward identifying an appropriate mechanism for ensuring accurate decision making over invalidity disputes while recognizing the political accountability required by the Appointments Clause.

The Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation is "a research-focused academic center exploring how law and policy affect scientific research and discovery as well as the development and commercialization of new technologies," and housed within the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

For more information on the symposium, click here.