The USPTO’s new Patent Trial and Appeal Board is taking over a backlog of over 24,000 pending ex parte appeals. The Board has had some difficulty in hiring and retaining top administrative patent judges. One element of the America Invents Act is to boost the salary schedule of USPTO’s administrative judge so that it is only constrained by the USPTO Director’s salary schedule — currently $165,000. However, unlike the USPTO Director, Administrative Judges will also be eligible for overtime pay.
Director Kappos has announced his desire to hire 1,500 – 2,000 new examiners in the next year.