On Sept. 28, 2022, Justin Oliver was quoted in an article in Law360 about how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Kathi Vidal is closely monitoring the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, invoking her authority to review its holdings multiple times in an indication that she aims to be proactive in clearing up ambiguity.
According to the article, Vidal has intervened nine times on PTAB rulings. She has issued decisions in some cases to weigh in on issues like the board's discretion to deny review of patents, and taken up other cases she hasn't yet ruled on, such as a dispute over alleged gamesmanship by patent challengers.
"I think it's good that the director is looking for, and quickly acting on, issues that might require clarification, because generally, clarity is better than lack of clarity," said Mr. Oliver. "Whether you agree with the decision or not, it's nice to know what the right answer is."
Ms. Vidal told Law360 last week that her director review decisions often come from group discussions, with drafts put together by her team on which she has the final say and often rewrites.
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