The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today released a Request for Comments (RFC) seeking public input on Director review, Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) review, and internal circulation and review of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions. The RFC is available in the reading room of the Federal Register.
The USPTO has implemented a number of interim processes that promote the accuracy, consistency, and integrity of PTAB decision-making in Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) proceedings. The USPTO plans to formalize those processes through notice and comment rulemaking.
To inform such rulemaking, and to inform any modifications to the interim processes pending formalization, the USPTO seeks public comment. Specifically, the USPTO seeks input on:
- The current interim Director review process that allows a party to request Director review of a PTAB final written decision in inter partes review (IPR) or post-grant review (PGR) proceedings, and also provides the Director the option to sua sponte initiate review of any PTAB decisions, including institution decisions and decisions on rehearing
- The POP process
- The current interim process for PTAB decision circulation and internal PTAB review
Comments will now be accepted through October 19, 2022, reflecting a one-month extension for providing comments, which will be announced in an upcoming Federal Register Notice. Submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Comments that have been submitted to date can be accessed at https://www.regulations.gov/document/PTO-P-2022-0023-0001/comment
Originally published 7/22/22. Updated 9/12/22 to reflect the comment deadline extension from September 19, 2022 to October 19, 2022.