Federal Circuit PTAB Appeal Statistics Through November 30, 2021
Through November 30, 2021, the Federal Circuit decided 961 appeals from the PTAB in IPRs, CBMs, and PGRs. While the vast majority of these appeals came from IPRs, the number of PGR appeals has slowly increased over time, partially offsetting a decline in the number of CBM appeals.
In IPR appeals, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB on every issue in 661 (73.28%) cases and reversed or vacated the PTAB on every issue in 119 (13.19%) cases. A mixed outcome on appeal, where at least one issue was affirmed and at least one issue was vacated or reversed, occurred in 92 (10.20%) cases. The court also dismissed 30 (3.33%) IPR appeals without rendering a decision on the merits. Dismissals may occur, for example, where the Federal Circuit determines that it does not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal, such as in certain appeals from PTAB institution decisions.
In CBM appeals, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB on every issue in 37 (74%) cases, reversed or vacated the PTAB on every issue in 5 (10%) cases, issued a mixed outcome in 4 (8%) cases, and dismissed 4 (8%) cases.
In PGR appeals, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB on every issue in 5 (55.56%) cases, issued a mixed outcome in 1 (11.11%) case, and reversed or vacated every issue in 3 (33.33%) cases. No PGR appeals have been dismissed.
Taken together, in decisions for IPR, CBM, and PGR appeals, the Federal Circuit affirmed every issue in 703 (73.15%) cases, issued a mixed outcome in 97 (10.09%) cases, reversed or vacated every issue in 127 (13.22%) cases, and dismissed 34 (3.54%) cases.
An important tool helping the Federal Circuit manage its significant docket of PTAB appeals is the Rule 36 affirmance, through which the court affirms the PTAB without rendering a full written opinion. Of the 961 IPR, CBM, and PGR appeals it has considered thus far, the Federal Circuit issued Rule 36 affirmances in 420 (43.70%) cases. The court issued written opinions, including affirmances, reversals, dismissals, and mixed decisions, in 541 (56.30%) cases. The ratio of Rule 36 affirmances to issued decisions has trended slightly downward over time.