By Matt Johnson

On July 20th, the PTAB provided additional clarifications regarding its views on Arthrex and how its interim procedures for requesting Director review will work for cases receiving Final Written Decisions on a going forward basis (i.e., not cases currently in the remand pool).  This guidance, in Q&A form, is largely consistent with the procedures outlined in the July 1st Boardside Chat that we covered here.  The Q&A does not provide any update on whether the PTAB will wait for a Director to be confirmed before beginning these reviews.  The final section of the Q&A provides some hints at an “advisory committee” for screening Director review requests.  The full text of the PTAB’s Q&A announcement email is below.  We will continue to cover developments on the PTAB Blog.

Full PTAB Arthrex Q&A Email with links:

On June 29, as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Arthrex, Inc., the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented an interim procedure whereby review of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) final written decision in an inter partes, post-grant, or covered business method review may be initiated sua sponte by the Director or requested by a party to a PTAB proceeding.

The USPTO requested feedback on the interim Director review process and, in response to that feedback, has updated the Arthrex Q&As. In response to questions from the public, the current update revises several existing Q&As and adds new Q&As to clarify certain aspects of the interim Director review process. For example, the current update clarifies information about party requests and explains the process used internally at the Office. The Office anticipates that it will provide more information and updates in the near term. Thus, further suggestions and questions are welcome and may be submitted to

More details on the interim Director review process are provided on the USPTO Arthrex information page and the Arthrex Boardside Chat event page of the USPTO website.

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Matt Johnson is one of the Firm's primary contacts on practice before the PTAB. Currently co-chairing the Firm's PTAB subpractice and involved in proceedings at the Board since the first day of their availability in September 2012, Matt regularly represents clients as both petitioners and patent owners at the Board. He further works as an advocate for clients in appeals from Board proceedings at the Federal Circuit.