Professor Dennis Crouch has an interesting article on problems at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). See A Few Problems at PTAB. Among other things the article discusses the ballooning backlog of ex parte appeals before PTAB. Professor Crouch notes "In 2006, there were fewer than 1,000 pending ex parte appeals at any given time. That figure steadily and rapidly ballooned to a seeming high-point of over 25,000 pending ex parte appeals."
Despite the fact administrative judges must also handle AIA Trials, this ballooning backlog of ex parte appeals is startling. Professor Crouch states the ex parte appeals face a three-year delay to get a decision. Of course, this is why many applicants file a request for continued examination (RCE) rather than appeal. Note 46% of all applications are based on RCE's today.
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