We have reported previously on inventor Gilbert Hyatt’s FOIA lawsuit to obtain an email from one patent examiner working on Mr. Hyatt’s patent applications to another concerning Mr. Hyatt, which the PTO argued was not even an “agency record” and therefore not subject to FOIA at all.
In an order filed on July 24, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the PTO to produce the disputed email to the Court for its review. The Court also chided the PTO for its failure to support its request for a judgment allowing it to withhold the email:
Despite the vigor with which the PTO is opposing production of the Khuu email, the government has only described it as containing a “personal opinion [Ms. Khuu] expressed to a close colleague in the context of an email exchange about divorce proceedings.” [citation omitted] The PTO has failed to cite for the Court which jurisdiction, in which galaxy, would find that description enough for the government to carry its burden to establish that there is no question of material fact remaining in this matter.
Read the order:Khuu Order