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Congressmen Issa, Johnson Call on GAO to Investigate PTAB Decision-Making Practices

June 2, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressmen Darrell Issa (CA-50), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and Chairman Hank Johnson (GA-04), sent a letter to Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, seeking review of decision-making practices at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The correspondence is in response to government arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Arthrex, Inc.
Specifically, the congressmen are requesting GAO investigate eight sets of questions to help Congress determine if there is sufficient transparency and accountability in PTAB’s decision making.
Issa said, “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board is an integral part of the patent system, and it must conduct its judicial duties in an independent and transparent manner to ensure all participants can be confident in its process and the courts and Congress can ensure adequate oversight.”
Johnson stated, “If the (recent) government’s arguments are accurate, PTAB cases (as adjudicated by Administrative Patent Judges or APJs) may have been decided based on factors outside of the evidentiary record and public legal authority (e.g., statutes, regulations, court precedents) available to the parties. This possibility raises potential due process concerns and would be inconsistent with the intent of Congress in enacting the AIA.” 
To read the full letter, click HERE.