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The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) is an administrative law body in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The BPAI was established pursuant to 35 USCS § 6.
The Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the administrative patent judges constitute the Board. The administrative patent judges will be persons of competent legal knowledge and scientific ability. These judges are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Director.
The BPAI is responsible for deciding issues of patentability. On written appeal of an applicant, the BPAI reviews adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents and will determine priority and patentability of invention in interferences declared under section 135(a) [35 USCS § 135(a)]. Each appeal and interference is heard by at least three members of the Board. These members are designated by the Director. Only the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences can grant rehearings. [35 USCS § 6].