Dickinson v. Zurko

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Dickinson v. Zurko
Argued March 24, 1999
Decided June 10, 1999
Full case nameQ. Todd Dickinson, Acting Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks v. Mary E. Zurko, et al.
Docket no.98-377
Citations527 U.S. 150 (more)
119 S. Ct. 1816; 144 L. Ed. 2d 143; 1999 U.S. LEXIS 4004; 50 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 1930
ArgumentOral argument
Case history
PriorPatent application 07/479,666 filed, February 13, 1990;

Examiner's rejection affirmed by Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, Ex parte Zurko, et al, July 31, 1995 (_ USPQ 2d _, Appeal No. 94-3967); request for reconsideration denied, December 1, 1995; Board decision reversed, In re Zurko, et al 111 F.3d 887 (Fed. Cir. 1997); reheard, Board decision reversed, 142 F.3d 1447 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (en banc);

petition for writ of certiorari granted, 525 U.S. 961 (1998)
SubsequentBoard decision reversed on remand, In re Zurko, et al 258 F.3d 1379 (Fed. Cir. 2001); issued as patent 6,507,909 on January 14, 2003
Holding
Appeals from the USPTO Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences are to be reviewed for whether the Board's conclusions are supported by "substantial evidence" under the APA.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
MajorityBreyer, joined by Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia, Souter, Thomas
DissentRehnquist, joined by Kennedy, Ginsburg
Laws applied
5 U.S.C. § 706

Dickinson v. Zurko, 527 U.S. 150 (1999), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that appeals from the USPTO Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences are to be reviewed for whether the Board's conclusions are supported by "substantial evidence" under the APA.

The Court was asked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to decide whether the Office's reviewing court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, should review the agency's factual determinations for whether the Office's decisions were supported with substantial evidence (under the Administrative Procedures Act), or whether the evidence was clearly erroneous (such as how a lower court would be reviewed). Agreeing with the PTO, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the Office need only have substantial evidence.

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