Remands Held in Abeyance Until Arthrex Exhausts Appeals

Last Friday, the Chief Judge of the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a general order directed to the growing number of Arthrex remands, now totaling over 100 cases. The order (here) explains:

Several parties in Board matters that have been subject to [remand Orders] have informed the Office that they intend to seek review of the pertinent Order by the Supreme Court of the United States (“Supreme Court”). Meanwhile, in accordance with the Board’s Standard Operating Procedure 9 (“SOP 9”), parties are contacting the Board to schedule teleconferences with the appropriate Board panel in their proceeding. To avoid burdening the Office and the parties until all appellate rights have been exhausted, I exercise my discretion to: (1) suspend the requirements in SOP 9 in cases remanded by the Federal Circuit under Arthrex; and (2) hold all such cases in administrative abeyance until the Supreme Court acts on a petition for certiorari or the time for filing such petitions expires.

This Order will delay new hearings in these cases for the summer (if certiorari is ultimately  denied), or well into 2021 if the SCOTUS takes up the case.