Posts Tagged: "Judge James Donald Smith"

In Capable Hands: Profiling the New Leadership at the PTO

Before profiling the top officials who will continue the work of the patent system, allow me also to pause and recognize a truly extraordinary moment in Patent Office History. The top three officials at the USPTO will all be women. Acting Director Teresa Rea, Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino and Commissioner for Trademarks Deborah Cohn will lead the Office forward steering America’s engine of innovation and commerce. If that doesn’t create a buzz of excitement even in Washington, DC, I don’t know what will! It is excitement well deserved and perhaps could lead to a higher profile for the USPTO, which would be very good for the patent system as a whole.

PTAB Chief Smith and Vice-Chief Moore, Part III

Vice-Chief Judge Moore: “The statute requires that each of the judges have scientific ability.  It doesn’t actually require particularized training in any one individual specific area.  Permit me to key off of what the Chief said earlier — we do use that to advantage in some instances.  For example, imagine a software controlled electro-mechanical device which is useful in a biotechnology operation.  I could throw four different judges with four different specialties – biotech, electrical, mechanical, and software – on that so that that panel as a whole could understand it better and help each other through the process.  And that is a huge advantage.  We have at least one team here at the Board that’s truly multidisciplinary.  They handle all types of cases from all types of disciplines without regard as to their own personal technical training aspects.”

PTAB Chief Smith and Vice-Chief Moore, Part II

Chief Judge Smith: “The unique thing about the job particularly right now – and I think this is true for my job and the Vice Chief Judge job – is that while we have many, many administrative duties they do not remove from us completely the non-administrative judging duties that we have.  And I think we both like a mix in which we also get to the judging, sitting on panels for example.  We are under-emphasizing that part of our jobs right now because we absolutely have to do that.  There’s only so much judging you can get to in the typical 18-hour day when you have so many other things to do.”

Exclusive: Chief Judge James Smith and Vice-Chief James Moore

The interview took place on the Alexandria Campus of the USPTO in the Madison Building. We sat around a modest conference table in the office of Chief Judge Smith. We chatted for approximately 60 minutes. Smith and Moore give us a rare glimpse into the Board and the day-to-day inner workings of the two top Administrators who also work hard to seek opportunities to stay engaged and join panels whenever possible.

8 New PTAB Judges Sworn in at USPTO

Leading up to the swearing in, PTAB Vice-Chief Judge James Moore explained the need for the new Judges, as well as pointing out that the USPTO has already had 13 covered business method patent reviews and 42 inter partes reviews initiated just since they became available on September 16, 2012 in the second wave of implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA). “We have doubled our hearing review capacity,” Moore explained. He also said that the approximately 27,000 cases pending at the Board this year “was a high water mark and we will recceed from there thanks to the help of those sitting behind me,” referring to the soon to be sworn in APJs.

AIPLA 2012 Annual Meeting Begins

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Intellectual Property Law Association is underway at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, DC. Judge James Smith, Chief Judge of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the USPTO gave the luncheon address, discussing the current state of the PTAB and what to expect moving forward.

Chief Judge Rader Swears In New Administrative Patent Judges

After Judge Moore’s remarks, James Donald Smith, Chief Administrative Patent Judge, then took the podium to deliver his remarks and to introduce all of the new APJs; an impressive bunch that averages 3 advanced degrees in either science or law, some of who come from the largest patent law firms in the country, including Arnold & Porter, Foley & Lardner, Jones Day, Hunton & Williams and Finnegan Henderson. Others of the new Judges come from within the USPTO or the Department of Justice. Several of the new APJs were formerly on the Board and are now returning after a period of time in private practice.