The authority of the Director of the USPTO to review and supervise the work of the Office is exercised by the promulgation of the Rules of Practice; issuance of orders, notices and memoranda stating Office policies and modes for effectuating these policies; decisions on petitions by applicants; and by the designation of particular cases which must be submitted to the Director of the USPTO or other officials authorized by the Director of the USPTO. The present Chapter deals with the latter two items. The line of demarcation between appealable matters for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) and petitionable matters for the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Director) should be carefully observed. The Board will not ordinarily hear a question that should be decided by the Director on petition, and the Director will not ordinarily entertain a petition where the question presented is a matter appealable to the Board. See MPEP Chapter 1200 for more information on appealable matters.
37 CFR 1.181(g) states, “The Director may delegate to appropriate Patent and Trademark Office officials the determination of petitions.”
The various delegations to various Office officials are set forth in this Chapter.
The delegations set forth in this Chapter do not confer a right to have a matter decided by a specific Office official, rather, such delegations aid in the efficient treatment of petitions by the Office. A delegation of supervisory or higher level review authority over a matter carries with it the authority to decide the matter ab initio.