WASHINGTON (24 April 2018) – Today, the United States Supreme Court released their decision regarding the Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC et al., stating that Intellectual Property Review (IPR) proceedings, which are held before an executive agency tribunal of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), are constitutional.

“The Supreme Court missed an opportunity,” said Maura Moran, former VP of Government Relations for the IEEE-USA. “The Justices have blessed a patent review process that puts small and independent inventors at a tremendous disadvantage within our patent system. IP lawyers, like myself, who work with small businesses and startups know how hard it is to protect intellectual property rights under our current system.”

IEEE-USA believes that the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to consider how the current system treats smaller patent applicants. In today’s decision, the Supreme Court endorsed a two-step patent process for obtaining a patent – first, applicants must fight their way through the USPTO to obtain a patent, and then they must return to the USPTO to fight the battle again. The Supreme Court failed to notice how the two-step process requires patent applicants to meet two entirely different standards of proof, dramatically increasing the cost of getting and defending a patent.

With the higher rate of patent invalidation in the IPR than in Federal court, the two-step process significantly reduces the likelihood of winning and defending a valid patent. This will dramatically increase costs, harming especially small businesses and start-ups.

“This decision highlights the need for Congress to repair damage done to our intellectual property system,” continued Moran. “We look forward to working with Sen. Coons and Rep. Massie as they work to restore the legal protections that have made America the most innovative and entrepreneurial country in the world.”

IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 180,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.


Contact: Russell Harrison
Director, IEEE-USA Government Relations

Contact: John Yaglenski
Director, IEEE-USA Communications

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