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About the PTAB

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About PTABThe Patent Trial and Appeal Board is created by statute, and includes statutory members and Administrative Patent Judges.  The PTAB is charged with rendering decisions on:  appeals from adverse examiner decisions, post-issuance challenges to patents, and interferences.


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Authority and Duties

"There shall be in the Office a Patent Trial and Appeal Board." 35 - U.S.C. § 6(a).

35 U.S.C. § 6(a), establishes the Board's membership as the Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the Administrative Patent Judges.  

The Board's duties are:

    "(1) on written appeal of an applicant, review adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents pursuant to section 134(a);

    (2) review appeals of reexaminations pursuant to section 134(b);

    (3) conduct derivation proceedings pursuant to section 135; and

    (4) conduct inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews pursuant to chapters 31 and 32."

35 U.S.C. § 6(b).

The Board also continues to decide patent interferences pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 135 (continuing under residual authority after March 16, 2013). Interferences are provided for by 35 U.S.C. § 135. The rules governing interferences are found at 37 CFR § 41.100-41.208. Chapter 2300 of The Manual of Patent Examining Procedure and the Standing Order (PDF) sets forth additional guidance for interferences.

Ex parte appeals from adverse decisions by patent examiners in applications for patents and in reexamination proceedings are provided for by 35 U.S.C. §§ 134 and 306. The rules governing ex parte appeals are found at 37 CFR §§ 41.30-41.54. Chapter 1200 of The Manual of Patent Examining Procedure sets forth the current procedures for appellants and patent examiners to follow in ex parte appeals. Sections 2273-2279 of The Manual of Patent Examining Procedure sets forth additional procedures for appellants and patent examiners to follow in ex parte appeals in a reexamination proceeding.

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Leadership

35 U.S.C. § 6(a), establishes the Board's membership as the Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the Administrative Patent Judges.

  • Director
  • VACANT
  • Deputy Director
  • Michelle Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO
  • Commissioner for Patents
  • Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino, Commissioner for Patents
  • Commissioner for Trademarks
  • Deborah Cohn, Commissioner for Trademarks
  • Administrative Patent Judges 
  • James D. Smith, Chief Judge

 

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Organization Chart

Organization Chart for Patent Trial and Appeal Board

Organization Chart

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United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 3/25/2014 12:38:00 PM