In his recent essay [LINK], Professor John Duffy raises the shocking point that since 2000, the appointment process of BPAI Judges has been unconstitutional. Generally, administrative officers must be appointed by a cabinet level official. Under 35 U.S.C. 6, however, the PTO director appoints the board. This disconnect, created by the 1999 patent reform measures, creates a serious constitutional problem.
If Professor Duffy is right (1) the law must be changed; (2) recently appointed BPAI judges will need to be re-appointed in a proper manner; and (3) any pending BPAI appellant could raise the issue as a challenge to BPAI authority so long as the panel includes recently appointed judges.