Who are the PTAB judges?

I was looking for a recording on YOUTUBE of yesterday’s symposium on patent law by the SMU Dedman School of Law and instead ran across this previous symposium session about the PTAB:

One of the interesting tidbits from the video is when Professor Semet shares some of her research about the backgrounds of the PTAB judges. You can see her discussion beginning about the 23 minute mark of the video.

Through a FOIA request and follow-on research she has reviewed the backgrounds of about one half of the PTAB judges and determined the following statistics:

38% are female;

23% were former examiners;

13% were formerly PTAB lawyers or from the USPTO Solicitor’s Office;

19% were former Federal Circuit clerks;

85% have private practice experience;

40% are engineers/scientists;

48 is the median age;

29% attended D.C. area law schools;

74% did not attend T14 law schools.

Here’s a link to an earlier video where Professor Semet discusses the research (beginning about the 10 minute mark) [Link].

I’m surprised by the “40% are engineers/scientists” number. That’s all? Perhaps that statistic is actual work experience as an engineer/scientist, rather than just degree earned.

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