Intellectual property litigation counsel Matthew Rizzolo (Washington, D.C.) was quoted in a Feb. 26 Law360 article examining a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision involving tribal sovereign immunity, in which the PTAB decided it could review the validity of patents covering Allergan’s Restasis dry-eye drug in an inter partes review proceeding despite the fact that the patents had been transferred to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.
Mr. Rizzolo explains the decision was surprising in its scope, given that the PTAB addressed more issues than might have otherwise been necessary to reach the ultimate result – including broadly holding that tribal sovereign immunity does not apply in inter partes review. He notes that there are certain issues and potential inconsistences between this decision and prior PTAB decisions on state sovereign immunity, which may need to be reconciled.
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