A public right is a right created and protected by institutions, such as government. Its origin is the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, who articulated "private rights" that exist without institutions and "public rights" which require institutions to establish and protect.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that:
|“||when Congress creates new statutory 'public rights,' it may assign their adjudication to an administrative agency with which a jury trial would be incompatible, without violating the Seventh Amendment's injunction that jury trial is to be 'preserved' in 'suits at common law.'" [Atlas Roofing,] 430 U.S., at 455 (footnote omitted). We emphasized, however, that Congress' power to block application of the Seventh Amendment to a cause of action has limits. Congress may only deny trials by jury in actions at law, we said, in cases where "public rights" are litigated: "Our prior cases support administrative factfinding in only those situations involving 'public rights,' e. g., where the Government is involved in its sovereign capacity under an otherwise valid statute creating enforceable public rights. Wholly private tort, contract, and property cases, as well as a vast range of other cases, are not at all implicated." Id., at 458.||”|
Granfinanciera v. Nordberg, 492 U.S. 33, 51, 109 S. Ct. 2782, 2795 (1989).
Under the America Invents Act, it is controversial whether patents are a "public right" which permits a federal agency (the Patent and Trademark Office) to reverse decisions by federal courts.