By statute, the PTAB's membership consists of the PTO's Director and Deputy Director, the Commissioners for Patents and for Trademarks, and administrative patent judges. (27) Under the Patent Act, the Secretary of Commerce appoints the Deputy Director "upon nomination by the Director," (28) appoints the Commissioners without a statutory requirement of Director nomination, (29) and appoints the administrative patent judges "in consultation with the Director." (30) The Director has the power to "fix the rate of basic pay for the administrative patent judges." (31) The Patent Act requires that PTAB judges sit to hear proceedings in panels of "at least 3 members ...
(59) The size of the PTAB's membership has spurred evolution of its organizational hierarchy, which currently features not only a chief judge, but also a deputy chief judge, two vice chief judges, and lead administrative patent judges for each of twelve divisions overseen by one of the vice chief judges.
expertise of its administrative patent judges
. Likewise, given the
Following submissions of evidence from both sides and a review conducted by the United States Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), a panel of Administrative Patent Judges
reached a decision on preliminary motions ordering that the Leiden applicants be denied the benefit of their priority applications, that the interference be re-declared to reflect Hammond's status as the "senior" or earlier party, and that Hammond be granted a motion that the Leiden claims are unpatentable over the prior art, including the Hammond applications.
Similarly, the administrative patent judges
on our Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences are responsible for handling appeals from the final determinations of examiners and for determining priority of invention.
post-issuance invalidity proceeding, the administrative patent judges
In general, administrative patent judges
enjoy less independence in their decision making than do administrative law judges.
"It was set up so the initial decision was made by a panel of three administrative patent judges
," and these decisions could then be appealed directly to the Federal Ciruit.
"In each of these 'post-grant' proceedings, a board of administrative patent judges
determines whether or not the claims of the patent are valid based on prior art, evidence, and arguments presented by both the patent owner and the challenger," according to an analysis by Cooley's Max Colice.