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Abstract

In the 2018 case of Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of inter partes review, a non-judicial proceeding for challenging patents that was created by Congress as part of the 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. By establishing inter partes review, Congress hoped to rebalance patent policy to make it faster and less costly to invalidate erroneously granted patents in all fields of technology. In the pharmaceutical industry, generic drug companies have embraced inter partes review, filing hundreds of challenges in the first five years after its creation, with moderate success. Biologics, which make up a growing class of pharmaceutical products, are sometimes covered by dozens or scores of patents. As more of these complex therapeutics are developed and approved, inter partes review is expected to play an increasingly important role.

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