Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences
T he BPAI had a very productive fiscal year 2004. At the beginning of fiscal year 2004, BPAI had 1,968 pending appeals and 107 pending interferences. As of the end of fiscal year 2004, the inventory of pending appeals was reduced to 985 and the inventory of pending interferences was reduced to 76. These levels amount to inventory reductions of 50 percent and 29 percent, respectively, during fiscal year 2004. Additionally, the IFW was introduced at the BPAI. Thus, most new patent appeals are now in automated form. The BPAI also has a pilot program for processing interferences in electronic form as well. Furthermore, the BPAI has now relocated to the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. At their new location, the BPAI and Trademark Trail and Appeal Board (TTAB) have a joint hearing room complex that includes a new state-of-the-art electronic hearing room that will allow for video oral hearings from remote locations.
Searchers begin using the new Public Search Facility at the Alexandria headquarters.