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By the Numbers: APJ Matt Clements and Potential Pro-Apple Bias at the PTAB

As was recently reported by IPWatchdog Founder Gene Quinn, it has come to light that information made public by the California State Bar shows that Matthew Robert Clements, formerly an administrative patent judge (APJ) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has been hired as an attorney by consumer tech giant Apple Inc. Prior to his work as a PTAB APJ, Clements was a patent attorney at Ropes & Gray and he represented Apple as counsel in patent infringement matters, where Apple was a defendant. While at the PTAB, Clements served on APJ panels in a few dozen cases brought by Apple, a situation that raises questions of ethics and that brought to light other matters, such as a lack of any code of judicial conduct for PTAB APJs despite their importance in adjudicating U.S. property rights, which can be worth billions of dollars. We’ve previously reported on statistics showing the outcome of PTAB trials petitioned by Apple where Clements served as an APJ, noting that the mixture of those ingredients resulted in nothing short of a lethal cocktail for patents and their owners. With Clements’ departure from the PTAB now upon us, we wanted to revisit his career statistics at the PTAB using Lex Machina’s data analytics tools to see how the new Apple hire ruled in cases involving his current employer.

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