The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is the authority within the USPTO that hears appeals of patent application rejections. Once the applicant decides that he or she wants to appeal an examiner's decision, his or her attorney must file a notice of appeal and prepare an appeal brief. The examiner then has the opportunity to reopen prosecution or to answer the appeal brief with his or her own arguments. If the examiner chooses the latter, the applicant may then respond with a reply brief. If no satisfactory outcome results from this process, the applicant can request an oral hearing before the PTAB to try and get the claims allowed.
The appeals process is long and expensive, and most applicants will only turn to an appeal after easier and cheaper alternatives have been exhausted.
Although appeals are usually a last resort, several firms perform quite exceptionally in winning appeals for their clients. Below, we'll take a look at some overall PTAB metrics and then reveal the top ten firms with the highest PTAB win rates. All data for this study is based on appeals in which there was a final PTAB decision between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2015.
PTAB General Metrics
Top Firms with the Highest PTAB Win Rates
10. Barnes & Thornburg (56.5%)
9. Harness Dickey (58.5%)
8. Fletcher Yoder (60.6%)
7. Haynes & Boone (61.1%)
6. Fabian VanCott (61.2%)
5. Trop Pruner & Hu (62.8%)
4. Shumaker & Sieffert (63.0%)
3. Michael Best & Friederich (64.5%)
2. Lowe Graham Jones (66.0%)
1. MacMillan Sobanski & Todd (71.7%)
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