By Jason Rantanen
In my Patent Law Year in Review talk this morning at the Wisconsin Bar Association’s Tenth Annual Door County Intellectual Property Law Academy, I touched briefly on ex parte reexamination filings. With the heavy interest in inter partes reviews, ex parte reexam filings probably haven’t been on most people’s radar. And until recently, data from the past year wasn’t available on the PTO’s website. Recently, though, the PTO updated the data on ex parte reexamination filings (available here: http://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/statistics/reexamination-information). As the below figure shows, although there was a drop-off following the steep increase in the fee for filing ex parte reexamination and launch of inter partes review proceedings, parties are still filing about 50-100 requests for ex parte reexamination per quarter. (For comparison, there are about 400-450 requests for inter partes review filed per quarter).
I’d also like to give a shoutout for the assistance I received from calling the PTO’s ex parte reexamination hotline (571-272-7703). It’s always great when a helpful voice is on the other end of the line.