A consumer-interest organization that was dissatisfied by a Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) ruling in the appeal of a patent examiner’s inter partes reexamination decision upholding the validity of a human stem cells patent, seeks review by the U.S. Supreme Court of a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals determination that the organization lacked standing under an intermediate standard for Article III jurisdiction. Consumer Watchdog v. Wis. Alumni Research Found., No. 14-516 (U.S., petition for writ of certiorari filed October 31, 2014).
The Federal Circuit had ruled that a statutory grant of a procedural right—here, the right to challenge a patent’s validity by means of an inter partes reexamination process and to appeal an adverse ruling—does not constitute the injury in fact required under Article III to invoke federal court jurisdiction. Because the organization’s interest was simply a general grievance and an adverse BPAI ruling did not invade any legal right conferred on the organization, the Federal Circuit dismissed the appeal as not justiciable. The organization claims that this conflicts with Supreme Court precedent and further notes that the Federal Circuit had never proffered a standard for determining whether a third-party inter partes requester has standing before it decided this case, nor did it suggest any standard or test for determining standing in future cases.