On November 15, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) published a revised Standard Operating Procedure 9 (“SOP 9”) to provide guidance on the PTAB’s procedures for handling cases that have been remanded from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. SOP 9 “creates internal norms for the administration of the Board to promote consistency,” and “provides guidance to the parties, the public, and the Board” regarding decisions on remand. However, the PTAB emphasized that SOP 9 “does not create any legally enforceable rights.”
Due to the popularity of AIA trials including inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR) and covered business method (CBM) review, appeals from final decisions of the PTAB have surpassed appeals from district court trials involving patent disputes. The Federal Circuit also hears appeals from final decisions of the PTAB relating to ex parte prosecution and reexamination proceedings.