The PTAB is conducting a pilot program to enable a small or micro entity appellant to secure expedited review of an ex parte appeal if the appellant has only a single appeal pending before the Board as of September 18, 2015 and the appellant agrees to streamline the appeal.
To secure participation in the pilot, an appellant must file petition to make special under 37 C.F.R. 41.3 to the Chief Administrative Patent Judge. The PTAB has created a form to assist appellants in filing this petition through EFS-Web.
As part of the petition process, an appellant must certify that the appeal to be made special is the appellant’s only appeal pending before the Board as of September 18, 2015 and that a docketing was issued for the appeal to be made special on or before September 18, 2015. Additionally, appellant must certify that it has established status as a small entity or micro entity in the application underlying the appeal to be made special, and that status as a small entity or micro entity is still appropriate. The appellant must also agree that, for each ground of rejection applying to two or more claims, the PTAB may select a single claim from the claims subject to each ground of rejection and decide the appeal to be made special with respect to every claim subject to that ground of rejection on the basis of the selected claim alone. The appellant must certify that the appeal to be made special does not involve any claim subject to a rejection under 35 U.S.C. § 112, and must agree to waive any oral hearing in the appeal to be made special, and acknowledge that any oral hearing fees paid in connection with the appeal to be made special will not be refunded.
The PTAB has a goal of issuing a final decision on the appeal to be made special within 6 months from the date that the petition is filed.
For more information about the pilot, please review:
- Streamlined Expedited Appeal Pilot for Small Entity Federal Register Notice PDF
- Form PTO/SB/441: Petition to Make Special Under 37 C.F.R. 41.3 to the Chief Administrative Patent Judge for Participation in the Streamlined, Expedited Appeal Pilot for Small Entities
- Ex Parte Appeal Pendency by TC as of May 2016
NOTE: This data reflect the Pendency of Decided Appeals by TC for Decisions mailed in Fiscal Year 2016 through May 2016.
- Pilot Statistics
For further information please contact us by e-mail or telephone:
Contact: Steve Bartlett
Supervisory Paralegal Specialist