IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "Freedom of Information Act"

Rethinking Article III Standing in IPR Appeals at the Federal Circuit

In 2011, as part of the American Invents Act (“AIA”), Congress significantly restructured the way in which previously issued patents could be challenged.   In some cases, existing post-issuance proceedings, like ex parte reexamination and reissue proceedings, were kept intact as such proceedings existed prior to the AIA.  In other cases, existing post-issuance proceedings, like inter partes reexamination, were replaced with new proceedings, such as the inter partes review proceedings (“IPRs”).    In addition, brand new proceedings were created, such as post-grant review proceedings (“PGRs”), covered business method patent review proceedings (“CBMs”), and supplemental examination proceedings.  In each instance, Congress made policy choices as to who could (or could not) bring and/or participate in such proceedings, and who could (or could not) raise challenges to decisions made by the government in such proceedings. 

Structural Bias at the PTAB: No Dissent Desired

This FOIA response confirms that dissents and concurring opinions are not desired by PTAB supervisors. In fact, Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) must justify to the Vice Chief Judge why a dissent or concurring opinion should count toward production goals, otherwise the work performed does not count… Obviously, a policy that does not count dissents and concurring opinions toward production goals unless approved by the Vice Chief Judge has a chilling effect.

An Exclusive Interview with USPTO Director Andrei Iancu

Director Iancu is knowingly and intentionally seeking to provide hope in the words he speaks because he believes a strong patent system is necessary for the U.S. economy to flourish. In part one of our interview we also discussed the need for transparency, and the troubling Freedom of Information Act processes employed by the Office that seem hopelessly broken. We discussed the posts grant challenge process, the PTAB, experience level of the Administrative Patent Judges on the PTAB and inter partes review.

USPTO Ignores FOIA Requests on PTAB and PTAB Judges

It is difficult to understand why the USPTO will not respond to simple, direct FOIA requests. If they do not want to produce there are procedures for them to follow, and they can always do what they seem so fond of doing, which is produce hundreds of pages of completely redacted, blank pages. That at least would allow me to file a lawsuit and proceed in court to obtain this information. Still, why should I or anyone have to sue the USPTO to obtain this information? Everything I’m asking for should be readily available. It is this type of government by ambush mentality that has so convincingly led the community to rightly determine that the PTAB is the root of all the problems with the patent system today in America.

FOIA Request made of USPTO seeking information on rules of judicial conduct for PTAB judges

On Thursday, May 11, 2017, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (see bottom) to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). My FOIA request seeks a copy of any and all rules of judicial conduct, ethical policies and/or codes of professional or judicial conduct that apply to Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Ex Parte Appeal Oral Hearings: Making Your Case Right Before Decision Time

This data set shows that Oral Hearings are rarely conducted. (See Figure 1.) Across the 72,443 appeals, only 459 (0.63%) appeals had an Oral Hearing… As shown in Figure 4, Oral Hearings were associated with more full-rejection reversals (blue bars). Specifically, the full reversals accounted for 40.3% of the appeals with Oral Hearings, as compared to 32.5% of the appeals without Oral Hearings.

FOIA Request sent to USPTO seeking information on Regulatory Reform Task Force

Confused by USPTO stonewalling, I sent a FOIA request to the Office. Is it possible that the USPTO is not going to name a Regulatory Reform Officer? Is it possible that the USPTO is not going to have a Regulatory Reform Task Force at all? Is it possible that the USPTO will merely participate with the Department of Commerce’s efforts and not engage in their own independent review of regulations? Nature abhors a vacuum, and so too does Washington, DC. I guess this just means we are in a cycle where getting any real information out of the USPTO will require a FOIA request.

What is Michelle Lee Hiding?

Michelle Lee talks about transparency, but the PTO is hiding behind redacted pages and claims of privilege to deny a legitimate FOIA request from Kyle Bass. “I don’t want to be embarrassed” is not a grounds for privilege and improperly asserting privilege is not being transparent… On page 407 there’s an email to Michelle Lee with briefing materials for the BIO meeting that were prepared by BIO. Not only are the many pages of the BIO briefing materials themselves redacted, but in the email the list of what’s included is redacted. We don’t even know what’s missing. How can materials prepared by BIO and shared with Ms. Lee be privileged?