Tuesday, September 26 2023   \  Published by IP Watchdog.

New USPTO Paneling Guidance for TTAB and PTAB Requires Disclosure of Financial Interests Regardless of Dollar Value

New USPTO Paneling Guidance for TTAB and PTAB Requires Disclosure of Financial Interests Regardless of Dollar Value

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new guidance on empaneling procedures for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Under the guidance, PTAB and TTAB management will “avoid empaneling cases to judges who hold stock or bonds (publicly traded or privately held) in any of the disclosed parties or real parties in interest, regardless of the dollar value.”

The guidance does not require PTAB and TTAB judges to divest any financial interests like stocks or bonds, and it does not prohibit them from holding any financial interests. It asks all judges to “voluntarily inform their management of any companies in which they know that the judge, the judge’s spouse, or their minor children own stocks or bonds, regardless of the dollar value.” Even if they choose not to provide this information to management up front, however, they must “promptly notify” the paneling staff once they receive notice of empaneling on a particular case whether repaneling is necessary in light of the guidance. Read more

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