2017 Overview & Highlights



The PTAB Bar Association held a highly successful Inaugural Conference on March 1-3, 2017, in Washington, DC that featured substantive discussions about the present and future state of practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Close to 500 attendees – including attorneys from in-house and law firm offices around the country, Patent Office officials, appellate judges, and foreign and domestic administrative judges – participated in a series of panel discussions and networking events.Highlights included:

  • Chief Administrative Patent Judge David Ruschke delivered a keynote speech that included insightful remarks illuminating the successes achieved and challenges faced by the PTAB. Chief Judge Ruschke expressed the importance of dialog between the administrative body and practitioners, a goal shared by the PTAB Bar Association.
  • Michelle Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, received the Inaugural Conference Award for the leadership she has demonstrated in implementing the America Invents Act and with encouraging the formation of the PTAB Bar Association. Director Lee thanked the Association for its role in fostering meaningful collaboration between all participants in the intellectual property system. Director Lee’s introduction and remarks are available here, and photos are available here.
  • Speakers included panelists from the life science and technology industries, who provided practical insights into PTAB procedures and related policy issues. Attendees benefited from hearing the perspectives of patent owners as well as petitioners. The panelists’ presentation slides are available here.
  • The program included tips for advanced practitioners and discussions on cutting-edge issues, conveyed by judges from the PTAB, district court, the International Trade Commission, and the Federal Circuit.
  • In addition, judges and experienced practitioners provided a half-day “boot camp” directed to a large group of practitioners. They explained PTAB filing requirements and trial procedures, providing valuable tips on successfully briefing and arguing cases before the PTAB.
  • Attendees also networked between the sessions and at social events, where many discussed recent developments in PTAB practices and their context within the broader patent law landscape.

The PTAB Bar Association would like to thank its Seed Funders, table sponsors and the Inaugural Conference organizing committee, as well as those who participated in the event.

The 2nd annual PTAB Bar Association conference is being planned for the first quarter of 2018 in Washington, D.C., and details will be shared here.