Notification of Hearings:
Hearings open to the public will be posted in advance on the respective web sites of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) . The posting will contain the time, date, hearing room, and proceeding number set for a particular hearing session. Due to last minute cancellations or no shows, there are no guarantees that a hearing on a particular proceeding will occur, although it may be posted.
Hearing Room Admittance:
The PTAB and the TTAB share four hearing rooms located, in the Madison Building, East Wing. The Hearing Rooms are designated as "A" through "D". A given number of spaces in each hearing room are reserved for party representatives. The remaining spaces in each may be made available to the public. The maximum number of publicly available space is as follows:
Hearing Room A: 55 spaces
Hearing Room B: 10 spaces
Hearing Room C: 10 spaces
Hearing Room D: 5 spaces
The PTAB and TTAB reserve the right to limit the number of attendees even further.
Members of the public should plan to arrive thirty minutes before the scheduled start of the hearing session. Upon arrival, visitors will come to the lobby level, Madison East Guard Desk to request a hearing badge for the specific hearing room, e.g., A, B, C, or D. Visitors will be screened and required to surrender a picture ID in exchange for a hearing badge.
The Guard Desk will only issue a given number of hearing badges for each hearing room on a first come, first served basis. No advance requests for attendance by the public will be permitted.
Fifteen minutes before the start of a hearing session a hearing usher will escort the public attendees with badges to the hearing rooms. Upon exiting the building, hearing badges are turned in at the Guard Desk in exchange for the attendee's picture ID.
Patent practitioners and agents should counsel their clients about Board visitation procedures, e.g. the need to bring photo identification, and appropriate decorum. Please plan to allow sufficient time for security screening so that you can timely appear for oral argument.
All attendees should review the attendance procedures and hearing room protocol provided here prior to attending a hearing.
Hearing Room Protocol/Decorum:
- No food or drink is permitted in the public gallery of the hearing room.
- Proper decorum is required with respect to both behavior and dress for that of a courtroom.
- When a hearing is in session, no one should be heard except for counsel making argument or a judge.
- No personal recording devices of any kind (audio or visual) will be permitted in the hearing room.
- All cell phones or pagers must be turned off.
- Once granted entry to the hearing session, public attendees are required to stay for the entire hearing session even though there may be more than one proceeding scheduled during the hearing session.
- Improper hearing room behavior may result in removal from the hearing room or other sanctions.
Inclement Weather Policy
To determine the Operating Status of the Federal Government in the Washington, DC area, please go to the Office of Personnel Management web site at http://www.opm.gov/operating_status_schedules/. Click on the Washington, DC Area Operating Status option. If the status is "Closed", hearings will not be held on the scheduled date. Consider any other status as "Open". The hearings will proceed as scheduled.
Postponed hearings will be rescheduled as soon as possible and all parties will be notified accordingly.
Public Hearing Schedules
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