USPTO Post Grant & PTAB Updates

In recent weeks the USPTO has issued updates on various aspects of post grant patent practice and PTAB performance. The PTAB reports that their significant backlog has not only stopped growing, but will soon begin shrinking thanks to the increased hiring of administrative patent judges (APJs). With a typical ex parte application appeal pending 2-3 years in many cases, this is welcome news for appellants. (presentation here)

On the post grant side, an update was provided on patent reissue practice. The presentation mostly recapped recent case law developments and changes to oath practice. (presentation here)

An update was also provided from the PTAB Trial Section on the patentability trials of the America Invents Act (AIA). The PTAB reports that upward of 70% of Inter Partes Review (IPR) and Covered Business Method (CBM) filings are in the electrical/software arts. This is not surprising considering these proceedings are emerging as the preferred antidote to the patent troll problem. Other highlights include insight into the PTAB’s preferred claim construction and petition practices. (presentation here)