What an Appealing New Name!
The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) received a new name on September 16, 2012. The BPAI is now known as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). According to 35 U.S.C. §6(a), the Board’s membership consists of the Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the Administrative Patent Judges. One of the Board’s duties is to review the Appeal Brief for compliance. Also, after all briefs and answers have been filed, the Board reviews the case again and either sends it back for correction of informality or assigns the case an appeal number and a panel of Board members. Based on their review, the panel of Board members then issues a decision. The average number of months of pendency of decided appeals from the Notice of Appeal date is approximately 37 months according to the Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Measures. The Board also reviews appeals of reexaminations, conducts derivation proceedings pursuant, and conducts inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews. The PTAB also now accepts petitions for some of the post grant proceedings under the America Invents Act (AIA) using their new web-based e-filing tool, the Patent Review Processing System (PRPS).