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Federal Reserve Banks May Challenge Patents at the PTAB

by | Jan 28, 2021 | Patent | 0 comments

Recent caselaw confirms that Federal Reserve Banks may petition the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to review a patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In January 2017, twelve Federal Reserve Banks filed two petitions to cancel two patents, owned by Bozeman Financial LLC, related to check verification systems aimed at reducing occurrences of check fraud. The PTAB invalidated both patents.[1]

Last year, Bozeman Financial LLC appealed these rulings to the Federal Circuit and challenged the PTAB’s authority to decide the petitions, arguing that the Federal Reserve Banks are not “persons” under the America Invents Act (AIA).[2]

In April 2020, the Federal Circuit ruled that the Federal Reserve Banks are “persons” who may petition for post-issuance review under the AIA. The Court stated that even though federal agencies are not “persons” able to seek post-issuance review of a patent, the Federal Reserve Banks are not federal agencies.[3]

On January 11, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Bozeman’s petition to overturn the Federal Circuit’s ruling.[4]