McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (“MBHB”) is proud to be an official inaugural sponsor and member of the newly formed PTAB Bar Association. MBHB partner Alison Baldwin is vice-chair of the Membership/Sponsorship Committee for the Association. MBHB has a robust PTAB Trials Practice Group whose attorneys are dedicated to monitoring the latest developments at the PTAB and are uniquely qualified to handle proceedings before the PTAB.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a tribunal of the U.S. 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 between its various stakeholders, the Washington, D.C.–based 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, which officially debuted on September 16, 2016, has involved collegial collaboration among more than 45 law firms over the past several months. The 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 has become 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 DocketAlarm.
In addition to providing a forum for communications between the PTAB and practitioners, the PTAB Bar 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. Website: www.PTABbar.org.