Major Origins of Appeals

Note: Includes reinstated, cross-, and consolidated appeals.

Appeals from the USPTO dipped for the second straight year in FY21. Due to a spike in appeals from the Court of Federal Claims, District Courts are now the third most common source for CAFC appeals.

Average IPR/CBM/PGR Appeal Pendency in Months

PTAB/AIA appeal pendency from docketing to opinion declined noticeably on an annual basis for the first time ever in 2021. COVID-19 delays had increased average pendency in the second half of 2020, and the court’s docket efficiency appeared to recover in 2021.

IPR/CBM/PGR Appeal Disposition Types

Just 15% of the Federal Circuit’s PTAB/AIA appeal decisions in 2021 were precedential opinions, the smallest share ever recorded. Nonprecedential opinions made up 49% of the court’s decisions.

IPR/CBM/PGR Appeal Outcomes

Overall in 2021, 77% of PTAB/AIA decisions were affirmed, 16% were remanded, 5% were reversed, and 2% were dismissed. The affirmance rate has checked in between 73% and 79% for each of the last six years.

This article appeared in the Federal Circuit Appeals from the PTAB and ITC: Summaries of Key 2021 Decisions report.

Chart data is sourced from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Please reference the full report for more information and analysis.

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