Sunday, May 1, 2011

News at the BPAI

  • The PTO announced (here) that a new BPAI Chief Judge has been appointed to replace Chief Judge Fleming, who retired last year. The new Chief Judge is James Donald Smith, who most recently served as Chief IP Counsel of the healthcare company Baxter International. The Chief Judge has many administrative responsibilities, and Kappos said that the new Chief Judge is "committed to making the Board more efficient and more responsive to the needs of parties filing appeals."
  • Occasionally PTO administrative officials serve as judges on a BPAI panel, as a "statutory member" authorized by 35 U.S.C. § 6. Director Kappos and former Deputy Director Barner did so in last year's precedential opinion Ex parte Frye. The recently appointed Deputy Director of the Patent Office, Teresa Stanek Rea, recently acted as a BPAI judge in last week's opinion Ex parte Adelman. Deputy Director Rea, a former president of the AIPLA, moved to the PTO from the DC law firm Crowell & Moring.

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