from the this-sounds-familiar... dept
Of course, it didn't take long for folks to recognize that the same question may apply well beyond the patent appeals board. In fact, there's a court case challenging whether the current Copyright Royalty Board is constitutional as well. While the article doesn't go into details, it sounds like it's an identical issue. The CRB members are appointed by the Librarian of Congress rather than the President or the head of a department. This particular lawsuit has been filed by an organization that was hoping to compete with SoundExchange for collecting and distributing royalties. The CRB rejected the request. Given how many problems SoundExchange has had in carrying out its charter, it would seem like competition is a pretty good idea. However, rather than fighting that decision specifically, the company recognizes this same constitutional question. Funny how the boards involved in both copyrights and patents may be unconstitutional for the same basic reason.