The case involves a series of provisions in the AIA that establish procedures for “post-grant review” of patents. Those procedures permit any “person” to ask the Patent and Trademark Office to review previously issued patents and invalidate them if the PTO decides that it made a mistake when it issued the patent initially. In this case, for example, the U.S. Postal Service asked the PTO to reconsider a patent previously issued to petitioner Return Mail for an invention involving the use of bar codes in facilitating the processing of undeliverable mail. The question for the justices is whether the Postal Service (or other agencies of the federal government) is a “person” entitled to use those procedures. The Dictionary Act establishes a presumption that “person” is limited to private entities; the question in this case is whether there is any adequate reason to override that presumption.
Get the news sent straight to your inbox. Please remember, this list sends an email every weekday, so if you are not a news junkie, then this might not be the list for you. Thanks