April 24, 2018 / 2:10 PM / a month ago

U.S. Supreme Court upholds legality of patent review process

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday gave its stamp of approval to a government review process prized by high technology companies as an easy and cheap way to combat “patent trolls” and others that bring patent infringement lawsuits.

The justices ruled 7-2 that a type of in-house patent review at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not violate a defendant’s right under the U.S. Constitution to have a case adjudicated by a federal court and jury. The court ruled against Oil States International Inc, a Houston-based oilfield services company that had challenged the legality of the process, called inter partes review (IPR).

While the ruling gave Silicon Valley reason to celebrate, it was sure to displease name-brand drugmakers, which had called the IPR process a threat to innovation. (Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

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