PTAB Bar Association Officially Launched

More than 45 law firms collaborate to create a bar association solely dedicated to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Washington, D.C., September 16, 2016 – The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a tribunal of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has become an increasingly popular and efficient venue for resolving patent validity challenges since it was given increased responsibilities five years ago through the enactment of the America Invents Act (AIA). To help establish best practices for the unique practice and skills required before the PTAB and to foster communication among its various stakeholders, the PTAB Bar Association was formed by leading legal advocates with the mission to promote the highest professional and ethical standards among lawyers and stakeholders who appear before the PTAB.

It has been more than 30 years since a national bar association of this scope has been formed. The creation of the PTAB Bar Association has involved collegial collaboration among more than 45 law firms over the past several months. The PTAB Bar Association has been organized to provide a forum for communications between the legal community and PTAB officials and its Administrative Patent Judges (APJs), particularly to share best practices and stay abreast of the rule making, procedure and jurisprudence emanating from the PTAB.

In a relatively short time, the PTAB is becoming the de facto venue for litigating the validity of patents. Through June 2016, the USPTO reports that more than 5,000 AIA petitions have been filed at the PTAB, and roughly 6,000 practitioners have appeared at the PTAB to date, according to Docket Alarm.

In addition to providing a forum for communications between the PTAB and practitioners, the Association also will coordinate many other important functions, such as PTAB-centric continuing legal education, pro bono opportunities, career enhancement and scholarship activities.

The Inaugural Annual Conference of the PTAB Bar Association will take place March 1 & 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C. To become a member of the PTAB Bar Association, and for more details on its events and functions, please visit

The PTAB Bar Association, which is incorporated in Virginia and based in Washington, D.C., has adopted bylaws and elected its first group of interim officers, who will serve until a general election takes place at the first annual PTAB Bar Association conference in March.

The current PTAB Bar Association officers and directors include:

○ Interim President and Director

·    Bob Steinberg of Latham & Watkins LLP

○ Interim President-Elect and Director

·    Erika Arner of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP

○ Interim Vice President and Director

·    Naveen Modi of Paul Hastings LLP

○ Interim Secretary and Director

·    Steve Baughman of Ropes & Gray LLP

○ Interim Treasurer and Director

·    David Higer of Kirkland & Ellis LLP

○ Interim Directors
·    Q. Todd Dickinson of Polsinelli PC
·    Monica Grewal of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
·    Sara Tonnies Horton of Jenner & Block LLP
·    Kevin Laurence of Renaissance IP
·    David McCombs of Haynes & Boone LLP
·    Scott McKeown of Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt LLP
·    Terry Rea of Crowell & Moring LLP
·    Karl Renner of Fish & Richardson PC
·    Marc Richards of Brinks Gilson & Lione

·    Eleanor Yost of Goodwin Procter LLP