Late last year, the PTAB published its final round of statistics for 2021. From October 1, 2020 to November 30, 2021, 1629 petitions were filed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The majority of petitions filed are for Inter Partes Review (IPR), with less than 10% of petitions filed for Post Grant Review (PGR).

By technology, the majority of petitions filed, by far, are in the fields of electrical and computer science. Mechanical and business method petitions are second, biopharma petitions third, chemical petitions fourth and finally, design patent petitions last.

Overall, the institution rates of petitions have gone up slightly in fiscal year (FY) 2021 compared to FY 2020. However, it is still lower than usual compared to the last five years. This trend could be due the PTAB’s use of discretionary denials of IPR petitions when there is a parallel litigation in district court under the Fintiv precedent[1] as we previously discussed.

In contrast, settlement rates have gone up compared to the last five years. However, as we noted in our previous article discussing PTAB statistics, it is challenging to draw any definite conclusions from settlement statistics because it is difficult to find out whether the settlements tend to be more favorable to the challenger or patent owner.

Finally, appeal outcomes in FY 2022 so far (October 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021) are very similar to appeal outcomes from FY 2021 (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021).

For more information, the PTAB’s most recent statistics can be found here, and archived materials for previous years can be found here (trial statistics) and here (appeals and interference statistics).

[1] See Apple, Inc. v. Fintiv, Inc., IPR2020-00019, Paper 11 (PTAB Mar. 20, 2020, designated as precedential May 5, 2020)