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Year in Review: Changes in PTAB Practice in 2018

Author: Thomas J. Engellenner

1/02/2019

Read the full post at Post-Grant Counsel

Year in Review: Changes in PTAB Practice in 2018

A number of significant changes occurred in 2018 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To begin with, in February 2018, a new USPTO Director took office. Director Andrew Iancu, a former patent litigator with law firm experience, appears to have brought a different perspective than that of his corporate predecessors – Michel Lee (Google) and David Kappos (IBM) – to the job at the helm of the USPTO. In his Senate confirmation hearings, Iancu made it clear that he felt that better balance was needed in the administrative review of issued patents by the USPTO under the America Invents Act (AIA). He pledged to assess “improvements in the AIA trial standards and processes.” Iancu identified “institution decisions, claim construction, the amendment process, and the conduct of hearings” as areas that warranted study. In fact, Director Iancu did a lot more than study these aspects of practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in 2018.

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