Today, the USPTO’s board of administrative patent judges changes its name from the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). This transformation is required by the America Invents Act (AIA) and represents a further step in implementation of the new post-grant review trials as well as (eventual) elimination of intereference proceedings.
I received a few e-mails from parties concerned about the how the transformation impacts already pending appeals. The new name has no direct impact on the thousands of ex parte appeals pending before the Board. For these cases, the transformation really is simply a name change and there is no need for applicants to take any responsive action.