Patent lawyers expect the nomination of Katherine Vidal as U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director to sail through the Judiciary Committee. After all, her predecessors Andrei Iancu, Michelle Lee and David Kappos each passed through Judiciary unanimously.

But some fireworks are likely Wednesday when Vidal, the managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s Silicon Valley office, is expected to get a hearing before the committee (as of Monday evening the committee had not formally announced Wednesday’s lineup). One big reason: The U.S. Supreme Court’s United States v. Arthrex decision earlier this year vested the PTO director with absolute authority to overrule any decision of the PTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in America Invents Act litigation. The PTAB has become a flash point even within the Democratic caucus, so the subject could be fraught.