Panel Dependency Reinforces Bad Behaviors
As discussed last October, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board’s (PTAB) lack of consistency in addressing attorney misbehavior is a growing problem. Whether PTAB panels are busy attending to statutory deadlines on their docket, or turning a blind eye to procedural squabbles to better focus on the merits, the end result is that attorney misbehavior remains largely unchecked.
Attorneys that practice in district courts would never disregard applicable local rules. And district court judges that author such would not allow their rules to be ignored. While some PTAB judges take similar ownership of their forum, such APJs are increasingly few and far between. As a result, the “it doesn’t hurt to try” philosophy is becoming the de facto rule on many aspects of PTAB procedure.