January 19, 2017

Bill to End Deference to Regulatory Interpretations Could Impact USPTO

David Newman, head of Gould & Ratner’s Intellectual Property Practice, was quoted in Law360.com, weighing in on a new bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives that removes the requirement – handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1984 – that courts defer to federal agency interpretation of ambiguous statutes.

If signed into law, Newman notes, this change could affect the USPTO’s longstanding adherence to the “broadest reasonable interpretation standard” when examining patents and reviewing challenges to them.

"The Supreme Court made statements giving deference to the patent office, so if I were a litigator and this new legislation comes into play, I'd use that to argue broadest reasonable interpretation may not be proper anymore," said Newman.

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