The United States Supreme Court reopened the door this week on a two-decade patent battle between Chevron Oronite and Infineum, ruling that Infineum can ask the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to throw out a decision invalidating a 2002 patent on an ILSAC GF-3 light-duty engine oil formulation.
In doing so, the high court vacated a January 2021 federal appeals court ruling upholding a Patent and Trial Appeals Board decision to invalidate Infineum’s patent.
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This week’s decision basically incorporates a new chain or authority for patent appeals, established by the Supreme Court in another case last summer when it concluded that final authority given to the appeals board is not constitutional. That ruling said the patent office’s director should have the right to review appeals board decisions, so Infineum will now ask the office to order that the case be reheard.