Patent judge leaves U.S. tribunal for law firm Arnold & Porter

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Signage is seen outside of the law firm Arnold & Porter at their legal offices in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Jessica Kaiser joins firm in Denver
  • Kaiser formerly practiced at Kirkland & Ellis, Accenture

(Reuters) - Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has hired former lead administrative patent judge Jessica Kaiser of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a partner in Denver, the firm said Tuesday.

Kaiser presided at the PTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which hears challenges to the validity of issued patents and appeals of rejected patent applications.

A picture of former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office judge Jessica Kaiser. Reuters/via handout

"I had been in private practice before I went into public service, and I always enjoyed being an advocate for clients," Kaiser said.

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Kaiser served as an administrative judge from 2014 until mid-February. She previously practiced in the general counsel's office of the patent-focused U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, at information-technology company Accenture and as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

She said Monday that it was a good time to reenter private practice given recent court decisions that have "really cemented the PTAB's place in the patent litigation landscape."

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the board was constitutional last year in United States v. Arthrex, even though it found that PTAB judges had been appointed in an unconstitutional way.

The board's patent-validity reviews have been broadly popular with big tech companies and others often targeted with infringement lawsuits, but controversial among inventors and pharmaceutical companies that rely on patents to ward off generic competition.

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at