Top of Notices Top of Notices   (378)  December 30, 2014 US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Print This Notice 1409 CNOG  2471 

Appeals and Interferences Referenced Items (368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378)
(378)                   Publication of Opinions of the
                   Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences

   The United States Patent and Trademark Office is increasing the
transparency of Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences decision
making by increasing the number of Board opinions that may be cited.
Starting in 2007, the Board will designate opinions and contested case
orders as falling into one of three categories: precedential, informative,
and routine.


   Precedential opinions bind subsequent decisions of the Board.
The Board currently produces precedential opinions under procedures set
forth in Standard Operating Procedure 2 (Revision 6)
( To become
precedential, an opinion must be adopted by a majority of the
panel, the Chief Administrative Patent Judge, a majority of voting
administrative patent judges, and the Director of the United States
Patent and Trademark Office. Opinions adopted as precedential appear
   These decisions are also sent to commercial case reporting services.


   Informative opinions and orders are not binding, but illustrate
norms of Board decision-making for the public, the patent examining
corps, and future Board panels. Informative opinions and orders may
explain best practices, address recurring problems, identify developing
areas of the law, exemplify types of decisions under-represented in
commercial case reporting services, or report cases of public interest.
The Board will establish committees to identify and review opinions and
orders for designation as informative. Informative opinions and orders
will be sent to commercial case reporting services, circulated within
the Board, and sent to the Commissioner for Patents. Informative
opinions and orders will also be posted at: opinions.htm.


   Given the thousands of opinions and orders produced each year at the
Board, most opinions and orders will not be designated as precedential or
informative. The Board will not send such opinions and orders to commercial
case reporting services. All opinions in support of a final decision will be
posted at, however,
unless the opinion is subject to confidentiality protections under 35
U.S.C. 122(a) or secrecy under 35 U.S.C. 181. Routine opinions may be
cited for whatever persuasive value they may have but, as a general
matter, routine opinions should be cited sparingly.

Citing opinions

   Cases may be cited either by providing a citation to a commercial case
reporting service accessible to the Board (United States Patents Quarterly
or Westlaw) or by providing a url for the case from the BPAI Reading Room
web site, e.g.:
   The categories announced in this notice should provide the public, the
patent examining corps, and the Board itself with a larger body of
authority from which to understand and act on Board decision-making
practices. In due course, Standard Operating Procedure 2 will be revised
consistent with this notice.

December 27, 2006                                        MICHAEL R. FLEMING
                                          Chief Administrative Patent Judge

                                 [1314 OG 1360]