When a party submits a Request for Rehearing by the Director to Director_PTABDecision_Review@uspto.gov,the USPTO catalogs the request and reviews it to ensure compliance with the interim Director review requirements. If the request is compliant, it is entered into the record of the corresponding proceeding as “Exhibit 3100 – Director Review Request.” If the request is not compliant, the USPTO will attempt to work with the party making the request to rectify any areas of non-compliance. If the request is not compliant because it was submitted after the deadline (see Timing above), it will not be considered because it will be considered untimely.
The request is then routed to and considered by the Advisory Committee that the Director has established to assist with the process. The Director may also consult others in the USPTO on an as-needed basis, so long as those individuals do not have a conflict. (See How does the USPTO handle conflicts of interest? below). The Director is then presented with each Director review request, the associated arguments and evidence, and the recommendation of the Advisory Committee to determine whether to grant or deny the request. The Director’s decision to grant or deny a request will be communicated directly to the parties in the proceeding through PTAB E2E. Director review grants will be posted on the Status of Director Review Requests webpage. Director review denials can be found on the Director review status spreadsheet, which is updated monthly.
Director review decisions may be issued as precedential, informative, or routine decisions. Routine Director review decisions may be nominated for precedential or informative designation, and such nominations will follow the procedure set forth in Standard Operating Procedure 2. If a Director review decision is designated as precedential or informative, it will be added to the PTAB’s precedential and informative webpage and an email notification will be issued to inform the public of its precedential or informative designation. Stakeholders and the public may submit nominations for precedential or informative designation using the anonymous PTAB Decision Nomination web form or by sending an email to PTAB_Decision_Nomination@uspto.gov.
Decisions made on Director review are not precedential by default and instead are made and marked precedential only upon designation by the Director. Final written decisions by the Director are appealable to the United States Court of Appeals to the Federal Circuit using the same procedures for appealing Board final written decisions.