Reversal Rate of USPTO Decisions by the Federal Circuit


It is too bad that more applicants don’t appeal decisions by the BPAI and TTAB. Since 1997, the judges of the Federal Circuit have decided, on average, 50 such appeals per year. Roughly 11.8 percent of the appeals from the USPTO (i.e., BPAI and TTAB) that were decided by the Federal Circuit have been reversed. The above chart shows the yearly statistics. (Click on the chart for a higher quality image.)  As you can see, in recent years the reversal rate by the Federal Circuit has been above the historical average.  

It seems logical that the USPTO’s efforts to to reduce its backlog of patent appeals will result in more appeals being made to the Federal Circuit.  Whether such an increase in workload for the Federal Circuit will drive a need for an additional seat on the bench remains to be seen. 

The statistics are available on the Federal Circuit web site.

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