The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently dismissed a case challenging controversial proposed patent rules that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently dropped, but it left the door open for the plaintiff to recover legal costs.

The Nov. 13 en banc ruling in Tafas v. Kappos, authored by Chief Judge Paul Michel, concluded that the joint dismissal motion is proper because the PTO withdrew the rules. PTO director David Kappos rescinded the rules a couple of months after his Aug. 7 confirmation.