The PTAB has updated its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) regarding the paneling of matters before the PTAB (SOP1) and precedential and informative decisions (SOP2).
These updates focus on increasing transparency, predictability, and reliability across the USPTO, and are based on feedback from stakeholders, courts, and legislators. The updated SOP1 explains the procedures for panel assignment and for informing parties about panel changes, as well as explains the process for designating panels with more than three judges. The updated SOP2 creates a Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) comprised of the Director, the Commissioner for Patents, and the Chief Judge of the PTAB. The POP will serve two main functions: (1) it may be convened to hear matters pending trials and appeals, and (2) it may assist the Director in determining whether a decision previously issued by the PTAB should be designated as precedential or informative.
Fish will monitor the implementation of the new SOPs and assess any impacts they may have on post-grant practice at the USPTO.