PTAB Pre-institution Procedures Codified
The USPTO published an Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) today relating to internal procedures. The proposed rules set forth that the Director is not involved prior to issuance (of a PTAB Decision on Institution) in directing or otherwise influencing PTAB panel decisions. The proposed rules further provide that PTAB management is not involved in panel decision-making unless a panel member has requested the input of PTAB management and that adoption of any pre-issuance feedback is solely within the discretion of the panel.
For practitioners and stakeholders this is a non-event. This NPRM is more about dispelling conspiracy theories by being overly transparent. A more substantive rule package is expected this month.