Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued several rulings defining some of the contours of the impact of its decision last year in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, in which the Federal Circuit found that administrative patent judges (APJs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) had been unconstitutionally appointed because they were principal officers under the Appointments Clause. The Federal Circuit’s recent decisions show several limits to the impact of Arthrex, which has spurred a large number of PTAB appeals since the Federal Circuit denied a motion to stay issuance of the Arthrex mandate this March, requiring the PTAB to conduct remanded proceedings under the case.
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