Bloomberg Law
Sept. 8, 2020, 10:31 AM

Big Bonuses for Patent Appeals Judges Raise Fairness Questions

Matthew Bultman
Matthew Bultman
Ian Lopez
Ian Lopez
Senior Reporter

After a government appeals board cut down two of M. David Hoyle’s patents, the Georgia inventor began to wonder whether the deck was stacked against him.

At issue was the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, commonly known as PTAB. Its judges consider challenges to existing patents, like Hoyle’s.

Looking into the review board, a part of the Patent and Trademark Office, Hoyle became aware of a practice that he found stunning: Patent judges get bonuses, which can range as high as $36,000, according to one study. And bonuses typically are based, in part, on the number of cases they review, ...

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