By Russell Slifer (December 11, 2017, 2:06 PM EST) -- The past year has seen significant changes to all practice areas before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Many of these changes are positive for patent owners, innovators, inventors and the U.S. patent system. Several issues that have plagued patent owners in post grant trials were addressed in 2017; claim amendments, serial petitions and petitions based on art already considered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, addressed patent owner claim amendments during PTAB trials, while the PTAB continued its recent trend of issuing more precedential and informative decisions. Several of these decisions are first steps in the right direction and, if applied properly, should begin to balance PTAB trials while providing more guidance to its 272 administrative patent judges....
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