PTAB Director rehearing

New Mechanism Produces Rare Win

Earlier this week, the PTAB issued a rare win for a patent owner in an Director Rehearing.  The Rehearing option, provided after the SCOTUS decision in Arthrex, enables a party to request the Director of the USPTO review the record prior to appeal to the Federal Circuit. To date, this option has not been any more successful than a typical panel rehearing request (not surprisingly).  This week’s decision may shed some light on the type of issues that may catch the Director’s eye.
Continue Reading PTAB Grants Director Rehearing Request

Director Adopts Panel Opinion

A few weeks back, I explained that the new Arthrex rehearing option— to the Director of the USPTO —was a non-event for practitioners. Reason being, the Director cannot just unilaterally reverse decisions “just because” he/she likes or dislikes patents.  Of course, any such decision would be reviewable on appeal by the Federal Circuit.

While I was initially concerned with such filings piling up during the tenure of an Acting Director, the Acting Director is able to perform these duties (and issue patents) for a limited period of time while a politically appointed Director is seated.  At least for now, that is how such rehearings will be decided.

Yesterday, the Acting Director issued his first two decisions, adopting the panel decisions in each as the final decision of the agency.
Continue Reading Director Rehearing Decisions: No Path for Delay

Arthrex Information Updated

The USPTO requested feedback on the interim Director review process and, in response to that feedback, has updated the Arthrex Q&As. In response to questions from the public, the current update revises several existing Q&As and adds new Q&As to clarify certain aspects of the interim Director review process. For example, the current update clarifies information about party requests and explains the process used internally at the Office.
Continue Reading PTAB Clarifies Director Rehearing Details