The Landscape of Modern Patent Appeals

By Jason Rantanen

For the earlier handful of yrs, I’ve been working on a task with the working title “the Federal Circuit Database Undertaking.”  The aim of this task is to build an precise, dependable and transparent databases containing facts about the Federal Circuit’s patent legislation-associated choices that would be of interest to scholars, commentators and policymakers.  In keeping with the public character of the University of Iowa School of Law, I wanted the databases to be accessible and usable by any person.

The very first stage of that task, now called The Compendium of Federal Circuit Conclusions, is finish.  The Compendium includes information for all files unveiled on the Federal Circuit’s website in an enchantment arising from the USPTO or District Courts.  In practice, this means all created viewpoints back again to late-2004 and all Rule 36 affirmances considering that mid-2007, along with a smorgasbord of orders and errata.  Just about every history includes various pieces of facts about those files, like no matter if the final decision was precedential, who the authors are, no matter if there is a dissent or concurrence, the yr of the final decision, and additional.  The information and its interface was structured from the ground-up in a format that would be valuable for folks seeking quantitative information about the court’s choices, rather than for the reasons of regular authorized analysis.  The information export aspect lets for all the facts to be applied in your favorite analytical toolset.

In order to kick off the Compendium, I wrote a short short article describing the databases and reporting some main descriptive figures about the court’s choices in appeals arising from the UPSTO and District Courts.  The draft of that short article, called The Landscape of Modern day Patent Appeals (forthcoming Am. U. L. Rev.) can be accessed listed here.  It’s nevertheless in production–the graphs, in certain, are lower-resolution placeholders.

Below are graphs that could possibly be of certain interest to viewers of this blog site: the styles of nonprecedential choices in appeals arising from the USPTO and District Courts.  The paper goes into additional depth, but the short of it is that the frequency at which the court applied Rule 36 affirmances fell significantly in 2017 (for district courts) and for both equally 2016 and 2017 (for the USPTO).  There are numerous additional descriptive figures and graphs in the paper, like the proportions of Federal Circuit choices that occur from the PTAB & BPAI compared to the TTAB, diploma of settlement between panel users, the price of the court’s output of precedential viewpoints, and even for every-decide authorship information.

While the task is now at its very first milestone, there is a lot additional to be performed.  Foreseeable future stages include adding new styles of facts to the information (these types of as matter-issue difficulties and disposition), adding files in appeals arising from other sources, specially the ITC, and improving the on-the-fly graphical functionality.  Remarks and feed-back on the task are welcome if you e-mail me straight.

Note: In order to continue on with the tender opening, and to avoid the probability of tension-testing the Compendium, I intentionally did not include a hyperlink straight to the databases in this submit.  The Landscape of Modern day Patent Appeals does consist of the hyperlink. I’ll add it to PatentlyO in the close to future.

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