About PTAB

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The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is a tribunal within the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that reviews rejections made by examiners in proceedings called ex parte appeals and decides patentability questions for issued patents raised by third parties in proceedings called AIA trials. 

The America Invents Act (AIA) created the PTAB or the Board. It was known previously as the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences or BPAI.

The Board includes statutory members and administrative patent judges. The statutory members of the Board are the USPTO Director, Deputy Director, Commissioner for Patents, and Commissioner for Trademarks.  

Administrative patent judges are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and are legally and technically trained. Judges have extensive patent legal experience prior to their appointment on the Board, for example, in private practice, in government practice (e.g., at the Department of Justice or the International Trade Commission), and as in-house counsel in companies. Many also have served as USPTO examiners or judicial law clerks.  

The Board also includes patent attorneys, law clerks, and paralegals along with support staff to administer proceedings and hearings.