AIPLA Comments on Expanding Opportunities to Appear Before the PTAB

Written January 27, 2023

Arlington, VA. January 27, 2023 - The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) submitted comments in response to the Request for Comments on Expanding Opportunities to Appear Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

The response suggests keeping the requirement for registration to practice before the USPTO as a prerequisite for practicing before the PTAB given that non-registered practitioners already can appear pro hac vice in proceedings without limitation. The comments also suggest that the rules not be adjusted to permit non-registered practitioners to appear as lead counsel and that that lead counsel who has satisfied the requirements to practice before a tribunal should be responsible for the whole case. The comments note that if the USPTO believes that allowing non-registered practitioners to specifically appear as lead counsel is necessary, AIPLA would recommend that a registered practitioner be required to otherwise be of record as back-up counsel. By ensuring that a registered practitioner is on record in the proceeding, the PTAB can expect that there is complete representation on all issues that may arise during a PTAB trial. Finally, the comments support the USPTO’s LEAP program and would encourage more in-person training events for newer lawyers, along with mentorship opportunities.


To view the complete comments, please download the comment letter posted to the right of this page.