The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has no substantive rulemaking authority, so says a U.S. District Court. Good news for those who think the USPTO over-reaches; bad for USPTO Director Jon Dudas, who came out on the losing side of this court case.
GlaxoSmithKline, et al. (collectively, “GSK”) and Triantafyllos Tafas (“Tafas”) filed a lawsuit to permanently enjoin the USPTO from changing longstanding rules on how patent applications are examined.
In a twenty-six page opinion, District Court Judge Cacheris found "the USPTO’s rulemaking authority under 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2) does not extend to substantive rules, and because the Final Rules are substantive in nature, the Court finds that the Final Rules are void as ‘otherwise not in accordance with law’ and ‘in excess of statutory jurisdiction [and] authority.’ 5 U.S.C. § 706(2).”
You can find the opinion here.