P-T-A-B: Patent Trial and Appeal Board

By Dennis Crouch

Sunday, September 16, 2012 marks day-one for the new Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that replaces the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI). Before moving forward, I would like everyone on board with the correct pronunciation is P-T-A-B and not P-Tab.

James D. Smith is Chief Judge of the BPAI and appears to be posed to instantly become Chief Judge of the PTAB as part of the transition. Judge Smith recently offered the following remarks on USPTO Director Kappos' Blog:

September 16, 2012 marks a momentous occasion for the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. On that day, we become the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In keeping with that change, the Board will open for business to accept petitions for some of the new America Invents Act (AIA) post grant proceedings using the Patent Review Processing System (PRPS), our new, web-based e-filing tool. We are extremely excited to take part in this historic transition.

To commemorate the transition to the new Patent Trial and Appeal Board and as a demonstration of our desire to serve, the Board will be staffed during the entire 24-hour period of that first day. From early Sunday morning at 12:01 a.m., until late Sunday evening at 12:00 p.m., Board personnel will be available to assist the public with filing new cases. After opening day, Board personnel will be available during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Questions may be submitted by phoning 571-272-PTAB (7822) or by emailing Trials@uspto.gov. Feedback on the PRPS system is also welcome, and we have established a separate email box for receiving such feedback at PRPS-Suggestions@uspto.gov.

As Chief of the Board, I am extremely happy of the many accomplishments made by the Board team toward meeting our AIA responsibilities. Many team members have worked tirelessly, preparing for the big day – September 16th, 2012. I would like to thank all those people involved, both internally and externally, for making September 16th a reality.


9 thoughts on “P-T-A-B: Patent Trial and Appeal Board

  1. 9

    3am east coast is midnight west coast. Patent attorneys have been known to work till midnight and beyond.

  2. 8

    In response to Peetab said…

    “They’re going to be open at 3:00 am to assist people? Really? Who has legal needs at 3:00 am?”

    Hello! Has anyone noticed there are hundreds and hundreds of registered U.S. Patent Attorneys/Agents in China, India, and other Asian and European countries.

  3. 5


    Do you know if an applicant has to do anything different onece PTAB has started if they have already filed an appeal to the old BPAI?

  4. 2

    They’re going to be open at 3:00 am to assist people? Really? Who has legal needs at 3:00 am?

    And who is pulling that shift? You’d have to make me smoke two bowls of ptab to do that.

  5. 1

    Dennis, I hope you will be able to obtain and publish the respective filing numbers in the first week or so for the 2 new AIA directly-Board-run patent validity trials that will now actually be available.* That way we can all get some idea of how eagerly their usage was actually awaited, or, how reluctant patent attorneys will be to initially try them.

    Likewise, actual filing statistics for the new ex parte CRU “Supplimental Examination.”

    *”Inter Partes Review” [but not for patents less than 9 months old], and the “Transitional Program for Business Method Patents”

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