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Experts React to Oil States v Greene’s Energy

Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University:

“For the first time, the Supreme Court holds that patents for new inventions are regulatory grants similar to monopoly grants for bridges or toll roads. The decision ignores the Supreme Court’s own substantial case law over the past two centuries that patents are private property rights that secure the fruits of productive labors under the Constitution—like all other property rights in homes, farms, and animals. Instead, the Court rules that the U.S. follows the original practice by English Kings and Queens who bestowed royal privileges on their subjects as ‘patent’ grants, applying to U.S. patent owners the historical dictum that ‘what the government giveth, the government can taketh away.’

“As the dissenting Justices point out, this turns the Constitution and the U.S. patent system on their heads. It perverts the function of the constitutional protections afforded to the property rights of all U.S. citizens, an increasingly commonplace occurrence today under the growing and all-encompassing administrative state. It also undermines the foundation that patents provide to the U.S. innovation economy, as stable and effective property rights are the necessary platform from which inventors, venture capitalists, and companies create the new products and services that have made life a modern miracle.”

 

James Edwards, Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights:

“We are disappointed that the Supreme Court ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is constitutional in another move that further weakens our patent system and continues the Court’s trend of harming our once great patent system.

“While we are pleased that the majority opinion emphasized that this ruling is a narrow one and should not suggest that patents are not property, we still fear that this ruling will continue to erode the constitutional protection of property rights and degrade our patent system.

“This decision makes clear that it’s time for Congress to step in and take action to eliminate or seriously reform the PTAB system through legislation such as the STRONGER Patents Act.”