The Arthrex appointments clause case is back before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This time, it’s calling into question not only Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions, but also hundreds of thousands of patents issued in the past 14 months.

That’s because medical device company Arthrex Inc. is arguing that the USPTO’s method of choosing Commissioner of Patents Drew Hirshfeld to serve as interim director of the agency is unconstitutional and incompatible with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA).