U.S. government agencies cannot use the three review processes created by the America Invents Act (AIA) to challenge patents they are accused of infringing, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 6-3 split on Monday.
The decision is a win for Return Mail Inc, an Alabama-based business that had sued the U.S. Postal Service for infringing its patent on a mail-sorting business. The Postal Service had used an AIA review process to invalidate a key part of Return Mail’s patent – a ruling the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed, 2-1, in 2017.
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