On Oct. 28, 2020, the PTO issued a new examination guide regarding procedures for examining applications for generic.com terms, which are any combination of a generic term and generic top-level domain such as .com, .biz etc. The procedures were updated in light of the Supreme Court's Booking.com decision in June 2020.
U.S. Supreme Court granted cert on Federal Circuit's ruling that PTAB APJs are appointed in violation of the Appointments Clause of Article II. The Appointments Clause requires that "principal officers" in the government be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate while inferior officers may be appointed by a department head. APJs are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the PTO Director.
The Supreme Court has presented two questions: (1) whether, for purposes of the Appointments Clause, APJs are principal officers who must be appointed by the President with the Senate's advice and consent, or "inferior Officers" whose appointment Congress has permissibly vested in a department head (2) whether, if APJs are principal officers, the court of appeals properly cured any Appointments Clause defect in the current statutory scheme prospectively by severing the application of 5 USC 7513(a) to those judges.
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