Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of the PTAB Digest? The PTAB Digest provides topic-based annotations of decisions in inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, covered business method reviews, and other post-grant proceedings by the U.S. Patent Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Each case is hand-selected by the Editors and individually ranked for importance. Editor comments are included for important decisions to help you quickly understand the significance and relevance of the decision.
  2. How comprehensive is the PTAB Digest To build this site, we reviewed thousands of PTAB decisions, hand-selected the most important ones, and created annotations by topical area to make it easier to find the Board decisions that are most helpful in explaining and applying the law. We personally rank the importance of each annotation and provide explanatory comments for more important decisions.
  3. How frequently is the PTAB Digest updated? The Editors update the PTAB Digest on a weekly basis. The home page shows the most-recently-entered annotations in chronological order.
  4. What is a "precedential" PTAB decision? The vast majority of decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board are not precedential. It is rare for the PTAB to designate a decision as precedential. When it does, the PTAB Digest's annotation will reflect the designation. For more information on the PTAB's process for designating a decision as precedential, click this link.
  5. How are PTAB Digest annotations ranked? The Editors personally rank each annotation according to its importance, with an emphasis on Board decisions that warrant two or more stars, according to the following scale:
    1. 5 Stars: A decision designated as precedential, that decides a significant issue of first impression, or that subsequent Board decisions recognize as a seminal decision on an issue.
    2. 4 Stars: A precedent-setting decision (regardless whether designated as such by the PTAB) with extensive analysis of an issue, including decisions identified as important by the PTAB.
    3. 3 Stars: A useful decision for showing a range of different interpretations of a rule. These decisions will analyze a rule or law and explain the PTAB's reasoning.
    4. 2 Stars: The decision describes the rule and applies it correctly. These decisions offer straight-forward application of a rule but include little analysis.
    5. 1 Star: The decision cites the rule without analysis. Generally, the PTAB Digest will not include annotations for 1 Star decisions.
  6. What search tools are available in the PTAB Digest? The PTAB Digest is organized by topic.
    1. Browse Topics: You can browse topics by clicking on them, which reveals subtopics. Click on a subtopic to view annotations.
    2. Search Topics: You can also search for a topic using the "Topic Search" field located in the PTAB Digest topic tree in the left column of the home page.
    3. Full-Text Search: You can full text search all annotations using the full text search field located at the top of the home page.
    4. Advanced Search: Use the Advanced Search option to perform a full-text search on specific data fields included in each annotation.
  7. How does the "saved search" functionality work? In the Advanced Search window or when viewing search results, you can save your search criteria so you can view search results later. You also have the option to check a box in the saved search window to request notification by email when an annotation is entered that matches your saved search.
  8. Does the PTAB Digest include all PTAB decisions? No. The Editors' goal is to capture significant decisions that help judges, practitioners, and students to understand how the PTAB applies the law. We generally do not annotate decisions that we deem to be uninformative or unimportant. We expend a lot of time and effort to cull through the Board's decisions to identify and annotate significant decisions. Including every decision on each topic would be counter-productive to our goal of making it easier for practitioners, judges, and our students to find Board decisions on topics of interest.
  9. Can I share an annotation with a friend? Yes. Each annotation includes a button that allows you to email your friends or coworkers a reference to an annotation using your computer's default email program. Each annotation also includes buttons to share the annotation link on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.
  10. How can I access the PTAB Digest Twitter feed? The Editors of the PTAB Digest tweet about noteworthy annotations that have been recently added to the PTAB Digest using the Twitter handle @PTABdigest. You may also view our Twitter page here.
  11. How can I access PTAB Digest LinkedIn updates? The Editors comment on noteworthy annotations in the PTAB Digest using their individual LinkedIn accounts. To view the Editors' LinkedIn pages, search LinkedIn for Orion Armon or Wayne Stacy.