In a second pilot program, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) will allow small or micro entity appellants with only a single ex parte appeal pending before PTAB to expedite review of that appeal in return for agreeing to streamline the appeal.
However, under this expedited review, the appeal must not involve any claim subject to a rejection under 35 U.S.C. § 112, and the appellant must waive any request for an oral hearing and must agree to the disposition of all claims, subject to each ground of rejection as a single group.
The Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot Program (“EPAP”) will allow small or micro entity appellants who streamline their appeals to have greater control over the priority with which their appeals are decided while also efficiently reducing the overall queue of appeals pending before the Board.
The PTAB has also recently published statistics on the EPAP showing that petitions filed under the EPAP are being decided in an average of two days from the date of filing and that decisions on the appeals are issued in an average of one month from the date of grant of the petition.
To participate in the pilot program, appellants need only make a certification under Form PTO/SB/441 to file a petition to the Chief Judge under 37 C.F.R. § 41.3. Click here for more information about the pilot program and how to participate.