PTAB Roundtables Coming to a City Near You

On March 25, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) would be hosting roundtables across the country to educate the public, and collect feedback regarding the new America Invents Act (AIA) trial proceedings. These roundtables are free and open to the public. According to Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, Michelle Lee, “[t]hese roundtables are a part of USPTO’s ongoing efforts to provide more opportunities for the public and other key stakeholders to share ideas, feedback, experiences and insights on additional ways we can improve our processes.”

The proposed agenda for these roundtables tentatively consists of an overview of the trials, with statistics and lessons learned thus far. The agenda also includes mock conference calls where the PTAB judges will illustrate techniques for making successful motions to amend and motions for additional discovery. The roundtables will close out with panel discussions with PTAB judges and patent practitioners for both petitioners and patent owners, with audience participation actively encouraged.

The PTAB roundtables will commence on April 15, at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA, and will come up to the New York area on April 17, at New York Law School. They will also take place in Chicago, Detroit, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Dallas, and will conclude in Denver on May 8. Further details regarding locations and venues for the roundtables can be found on the USPTO website.

Stakeholders for both petitioners and patent owners are strongly urged to attend, as the there have been over 1,100 AIA petitions filed to date, with 540 petitions filed in the first quarter of 2014 alone. In the handful of inter partes review and covered business method proceeding that have reached final decisions on the merits, petitioners have been overwhelmingly successful in invalidating patent claims. It is highly likely that these AIA post-issuance proceedings will become all the more common for the foreseeable future.

We at Gibbons will continue to update you on developments and trends regarding AIA post-issuance proceedings.

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