New National Bar Association Launched

Latham partner Bob Steinberg elected to helm of the PTAB Bar Association, the only national bar association of this scope formed in the past 30 years.

September 19, 2016

In just five years since it was formed through federal law, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a tribunal of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, has become a popular and efficient venue for resolving patent disputes. Through August 2016, more than 5,500 petitions have been filed at the PTAB and roughly 6,000 practitioners have appeared before its Administrative Patent Judges.

A group of experienced intellectual property litigators at major law firms recognized the need to establish best practices for the unique skills required to practice before the PTAB, and to create a forum to foster communication among its various stakeholders, including practitioners, judges and members of  industry. Their solution was to form the PTAB Bar Association (, which launched Friday, September 16th, on the anniversary of the PTAB’s promulgation.

It has been more than 30 years since a national bar association of this scope has been formed, and the creation of the PTAB Bar Association has involved collegial collaboration among more than 45 law firms over the past several months. Latham & Watkins partner Bob Steinberg has been voted by his peers to serve as the first President and Director of the PTAB Bar Association, and several other Latham attorneys have been involved throughout the development of the Association and have been selected for leadership positions in the organization.

The PTAB Bar Association will provide a forum for communications between the legal community and PTAB officials and its Administrative Patent Judges, particularly to share best practices and stay abreast of the rule making, procedure, and jurisprudence emanating from the PTAB.  In addition, the Association will coordinate many other important functions, such as PTAB-centric continuing legal education, pro bono opportunities, career enhancement, and scholarship activities.

The Inaugural Annual Conference of the PTAB Bar Association will take place March 1 & 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C.  To become a member of the PTAB Bar Association, and for more details on its events and functions, please visit

To learn more about the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Practice at Latham & Watkins, please click here.

In this video, Bob Steinberg discusses the firm’s unique approach to PTAB matters with Latham partners Julie Holloway and Max Grant and counsel Jonathan Strang and Gabriel Bell – which involves maximizing efficiencies for clients by litigating the PTAB procedure as well as handling district court litigation:

Notice: We appreciate your interest in Latham & Watkins. If your inquiry relates to a legal matter and you are not already a current client of the firm, please do not transmit any confidential information to us. Before taking on a representation, we must determine whether we are in a position to assist you and agree on the terms and conditions of engagement with you. Until we have completed such steps, we will not be deemed to have a lawyer-client relationship with you, and will have no duty to keep confidential the information we receive from you. Thank you for your understanding.