Intellectual Property Law

USPTO denies first requests for Director review of PTAB decisions

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On June 29, as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Arthrex, Inc., the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented an interim procedure whereby review of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) final written decision in an inter partes, post-grant, or covered business method review may be initiated sua sponte by the Director or requested by a party to a PTAB proceeding.

The USPTO received its first two requests for Director review on July 6 and July 7. On August 2, Drew Hirshfeld, performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, issued decisions in those cases (IPR2020-00081 and IPR2020-00320). The order in each case denies the request for Director review and provides that “the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s Final Written Decision in this case is the final decision of the agency.”

Details on the interim Director review process are provided on the USPTO Arthrex information pageArthrex Q&As, and the Arthrex Boardside Chat event page of the USPTO website.

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