Last week, an order list issued by the U.S. Supreme Court indicated that the nation’s highest court had granted a pair of petitions for writ of certiorari which were then consolidated into Davis v. Saul. The petition in Davis asks the Supreme Court to determine whether claimants seeking disability benefits or supplemental security income under the Social Security Act (SSA) must exhaust their Appointments Clause challenges with the administrative law judge (ALJ) at the agency in order to obtain judicial review of that challenge in federal court. Given the Appointments Clause challenge to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings at issue in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, many patent practitioners are interested in the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision on whether such challenges can be brought up for the first time on appeal from agency proceedings when parties first claim that constitutional challenge while seeking judicial review in federal courts.

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