BPAI Reports Dramatic Rise in Appeals in January 2009

The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) has reported a large increase in BPAI appeals and in its backlog.  The backlog of appeals has almost doubled to over 10,000 pending appeals.  This is the result of the USPTO implementing strict review procedures which have result in an allowance rate of only about 42% (historically the allowance rate has been around 70%).  Changes are occuring at the USPTO as I write this post, so we should see the BPAI appeals level off before the end of the year (and hopefully see the allowance rate get to a healthier level).