Ben Everton Shares Insights on New USPTO Director Review Executive Position

| Ben J. Everton

In the Bloomberg Law article, “Ex-Patent Solicitor Takes on Director Review Amid Rising Demand,” Knobbe Martens partner Ben Everton discussed the significance of a new executive role at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Following a 2021 Supreme Court decision cementing the USPTO director’s authority to review and overturn Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions, the USPTO has received hundreds of requests for such reviews. In response, the agency has enhanced the director review process and recently announced the creation of a new director review executive position to oversee it.

In the article, Everton characterized this new role as a sign that the PTAB was “setting up a more robust system for director review,” especially in light of a July 2023 announcement that the USPTO director review process would extend to institution decisions.

Given the high, increasing volume of director review requests submitted to USPTO Director Kathi Vidal, Everton said the establishment of the director review executive position signals “that she’s delegating and creating these delegated panels to take on some of that work.” He added that expanding the director review process could enable the USPTO to address pressing issues such as “discretionary denial” and sanctions matters.

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