Byline: Derek Hawkins
United States Supreme Court
Case Name: Thryv, Inc., Inc. v. Click-to-call Technologies, LP, et al.,
Case No.: 18-916
Focus: Inter Partes Review Patent Claim Validity
Inter partes review is an administrative process in which a patent challenger may ask the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to reconsider the validity of earlier granted patent claims. This case concerns a statutorily prescribed limitation of the issues a party may raise on appeal from an inter partes review proceeding. When presented with a request for inter partes review, the agency must decide whether to institute review. 35 U. S. C. 314. Among other conditions set by statute, if the request comes more than a year after suit against the requesting party for patent infringement, "[a]n inter partes review may not be instituted." 315(b). "The determination by the [PTO] Director whether to institute an inter partes review under this section shall be final and nonappealable." 314(d).
In this case, the agency instituted inter partes review in response to a petition from Thryv, Inc., resulting in the cancellation of several patent claims. Patent owner Click-toCall Technologies, LP, appealed, contending that Thryv's petition was untimely under 315(b).
The question before us: Does 314(d)'s bar on judicial review of the agency's decision to...