BPAI Law and Legal Definition

BPAI is the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. It is an administrative law body within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which decides issues of patentability. The members of the BPAI are the Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the Administrative Patent Judges. [35 USCS § 6]. A Chief Administrative Patent Judge heads the BPAI.

Pursuant to 35 USCS § 6(b), “the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences shall, on written appeal of an applicant, review adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents and shall determine priority and patentability of invention in interferences****"

Main responsibilities of the BPAI are:

1. Reviewing ex parte appeals from adverse decisions of examiners, where a written appeal is taken by a dissatisfied patent applicant.

2. Reviewing interferences to "determine priority." Whenever an applicant claims the same patentable invention which is already claimed by another applicant or patentee, the BPAI has to review such application to determine the first inventor.

Each appeal and interference is heard by a merits panel of at least three members of the Board. The decision of the BPAI is delivered in the form of opinions.