As of September 16, 2012, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences officially became known as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The PTAB was implemented to comply with new provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA). The USPTO will now accept petitions for certain post-grant proceedings using a new a new online system called the Patent Review Processing System (PRPS). See the online announcement from USPTO Director David Kappos on his blog.
Here are some important things to know about the new Patent Review and Processing System:
- Anyone can register to obtain a PRPS user ID, including pro se patent owners and attorneys not registered before the USPTO (though if you are registered, you must include your registration number).
- Petitions will be accorded a filing date the same day petitions are filed and filing fees paid.
- A complete petition must comply with the following 5 statutory requirements:
- Appropriate Fee Paid
- Identification of the patent and the specific claim(s) being challenged
- Identification of the real party in interest
- Copies of the patents and printed publications relied upon in the petition
- Certificate of service on the patent owner
- The petition must comply with the regulatory requrements of 37 C.F.R. 42:
- Other PRPS frequently asked questions can be found here
The new PTAB follows in the footsteps of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), which has been accepting electronic submissions for a while now. The initial launch was a success, within 24 hours of launch there were already five inter partes and five covered business method submissions in the system, and all was functioning well. This is just another step for the USPTO as they continue to transition to a paperless infrastructure.