Rubén Muñoz Quoted by Reuters on PTAB Reform

Akin Gump intellectual property partner Rubén Muñoz has been quoted by Reuters in the article “Five patent law stories to look for in 2018.” Munoz discussed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which could see a ruling this year from the Supreme Court on its constitutionality.

The article reports that the Court is expected to rule on whether PTAB, the administrative court created in 2011 to review the validity of patents, unconstitutionally intrudes on matters reserved for the federal courts. Aware of the criticism that it is too quick to invalidate patents, the article notes that the board, in 2016, began allowing patent owners to present expert testimony during the early stages of a case in an effort to dissuade it from reviewing a patent.

Muñoz said the change “was largely viewed as a shift towards leveling the playing field.” He added that, so far, the rule change has done little to reduce the number of pharmaceutical and biotech PTAB reviews.