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USPTO Seeks to Formalize Enhanced and Streamlined Director Review Process through Rulemaking

15-Apr-2024 | Source : The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) | Visits : 875

ALEXANDRIA - To advance the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) goal of ensuring fair, transparent, and efficient procedures throughout the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the Office announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Director Review process for decisions in proceedings under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA proceedings) at the PTAB, a press release stated by USPTO.

Director Review has been an important way for parties to request the rehearing of certain PTAB decisions. Since its inception in 2021, the USPTO has worked with our stakeholders to refine the Director Review process, resulting in enhanced procedures that we are now seeking to formalize. 

“The Director Review process has been an important mechanism for resolving splits in PTAB decisions, shedding additional light on guidance and rules, and upholding the integrity of the AIA procedures,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal. “Formalizing the Director Review process is part of our comprehensive efforts to work with stakeholders to reshape PTAB procedures and strengthen our processes with integrity, transparency and efficiency for the benefit our entire innovation ecosystem.” 

The NPRM proposes guidance on the types of issues the Director will consider in Director Review, the timing and format of Director Review requests, as well as Director Review of decisions on the Director’s own initiative (“sua sponte”). The proposed rule further addresses the impact of Director Review on the underlying AIA proceeding, the timing for appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the delegation of Director Review.


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