Federal Circuit to consider en banc whether new evidence may be introduced in a section 145 actionFebruary 18, 2010

In an order yesterday, the Federal Circuit has agreed to consider the scope of evidence to be considered in an action filed under 35 U.S.C. § 145 to obtain review of a decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The case is Hyatt v. Kappos. Specifically, the court ordered briefing on the following issues:

(a) Are there any limitations on the admissibility of evidence in section 145 proceedings? In particular—

(i) Does the Administrative Procedure Act require review on the agency record in proceedings pursuant to section 145?

(ii) Does section 145 provide for a de novo proceeding in the district court?

(iii) If section 145 does not provide for a de novo proceeding in the district court, what limitations exist on the presentation of new evidence before the district court?

(b) Did the district court properly exclude the Hyatt declaration?

In the original panel decision, the court affirmed the district court's exclusion of evidence that "should have been" raised before the Board but was not, specifically evidence relating to enablement. Judge Moore dissented, contending Hyatt was entitled to introduce new evidence in a § 145 proceeding.

No oral argument date has yet been set. To read the full order granting en banc review, click here.

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