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Posts Tagged: "Art Unit"

USPTO Announces Access to Relevant Prior Art Initiative to Import Prior Art Citations into Patent Applications

The USPTO recently announced the implementation of the first phase of the Access to Relevant Prior Art (RPA) Initiative. The initiative is being designed to reduce the burden placed upon patent applicants to comply with their duty of disclosure through the use of automated tools which import relevant prior art and other pertinent information into pending U.S. patent applications as quickly as possible.

The importance of reviewing statistics within an individual art unit

We collected statistics on recent activity within Art Unit 1655, which covers drug, bio-affecting and body treating compositions. Overall, this Art Unit has an allowance rate of 54.3%, meaning that slightly under half of all patent applications filed in this art unit do not result in a patent grant… Interestingly, some companies in this sector do exceedingly well at converting their innovative concepts into actual IP assets. Cosmetic marketing company Mary Kay, for example, only had a total of 46 patent applications in this art unit but enjoys a 94.4% allowance rate… By contrast… Japanese company, Shiseido, had an allowance rate of 26.7%…

Are patent examiners instructed to issue frivolous rejections?

So an applicant waits years on appeal to get relief from frivolous rejections, achieves a complete and total victory, and their reward is another bogus rejection from the same examiner who has been harassing them for years. It is no wonder many applicants just give up. If this were happening anywhere else in the world we would ridicule the system as fixed or rigged… How ironic, and sad, is it that the PTAB has the authority to invalidate issued patents in post grant proceedings but has no implementing authority with respect to its decisions completely reversing even frivolous examiner rejections. This is yet another reason the PTAB is appropriately characterized a death squad. The only power the PTAB seems to have is to take rights away from property owners (i.e., patent owners).

Avoiding Alice Rejections with Predictive Analytics

The disparity between the art units is confused even more so when we consider the total number of Alice rejections in each art unit, rather than just counting the total number of applications receiving an Alice rejection. Doing that, we can see that, while 3622 and 3623 have almost equal numbers of applications with Alice rejections, 3623 actually has more in total. This means that applications in that art unit are more likely to receive multiple Alice rejections and take longer to prosecute.

A Better Way to File Patent Applications

The PathWays system is designed to help applicants predict which art units an application is likely to be filed before the application is even filed. A unique semantic search algorithm compares user submitted text to weighted key words derived from an exhaustive collection of application documents clustered in each USPTO art unit.

The Most Likely Art Units for Alice Rejections

While Alice rejections can be found all over the USPTO, roughly two-thirds of them are found in TC 3600. Only TC 2900 has not had any Alice rejections. Looking deeper into the 3620s, 3680s, and 3690s, the reach of Alice becomes apparent. Using Juristat’s data, we counted all rejections in these art units since June 19, 2014, the date Alice was decided. We then calculated the percentage of those rejections that cited Alice, focusing only on examiners that have issued at least ten rejections since the Alice decision. As shown in Figure 3, roughly three-quarters of all rejections in these art units are Alice rejections, with several examiners having a 100% Alice rejection rate.

Time to Disposition: Some Art Units Really Are Slower

“Time is money” rings especially true for those pursuing patents at the USPTO. Anyone who has previously dealt with this organization can attest to the fact that it is slow moving and extremely costly. Being that this single government entity is charged with processing upwards of 600,000 patent applications per year, the speed at which it operates is unsurprising. However, what is surprising is the substantial variance in speed at which each technology center and individual art unit operates. For example, technology center 2900 has the quickest average time to disposition while technology center 2400 has the slowest.

These Are the 20 Hardest and Easiest Art Units

Art Unit 3689 has the lowest allowance rate at 7.7%. Art Unit 3659 has the highest at 98.3%. Oddly enough, these two art units are from the same technology center. It’s worth noting, however, that the 3600s deal with a variety of inventions, including transportation, e-commerce, and national security. Of the 20 art units with the lowest allowance rates, eight are in the 3600’s. This is not surprising. After all, the 3600’s host many business-method art units.

Patent Attorney Asks Examiner “Are you drunk?”

Are you drunk? No, seriously… are you drinking scotch and whiskey with a side of crack cocaine while you “examine” patent applications? (Heavy emphasis on the quotes.) Do you just mail merge rejection letters from your home? Is that what taxpayers are getting in exchange for your services? Have you even read the patent application? I’m curious. Because you either haven’t read the patent application or are… (I don’t want to say the “R” word) “Special.”

Allowance Rates for Art Units Examining Business Methods

If I were a patent examiner that hadn’t issued patents for years I wouldn’t want anyone to know that either. Similarly, if I were a Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE) in an Art Unit that routinely only issued patents after a long drawn out appeal process that resulted in the Board overturning the rejections I wouldn’t want the public to know about that either. Sadly, this type of gaming exists at the Patent Office. There are examiners who only rarely issue patents and Art Units that openly tell patent attorneys that they don’t issue patents unless ordered to do so by the Board. Knowing that this happens, which is supported by hard data, makes it impossible to tolerate the anti-patent zealots who routinely opine about just how easy it is to get a software or business method patent issued. Really? You have to be kidding!

PatentCore Joins Forces with LexisNexis® on PatentAdvisor™

Reed Technology and Information Services Inc., a part of the LexisNexis® family and a provider of content management services, announced earlier today that it has joined forces with PatentCore. You may recall that PatentCore is a publisher of online Patent Office analytics, which for the first time has given the patent bar and public a snapshot look at what goes on inside the Patent Office Art Unit by Art Unit and patent examiner by patent examiner.

75% – The Real Rate of Patent Applicant Success on Appeal

The biggest myth about patent appeals is that that the examiner usually wins. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) posts that it reverses examiners only one out of every three decisions —33%. That number is accurate, and reflects the percentage of reversals among Board decisions. But another number is more helpful — 75%. That is the rough percentage of reversals among all appeals—not just Board decisions. The difference arises because not all appeals result in a Board decision. In fact, the vast majority of appeals (80%) never reach the Board. The Board’s 33% number has nothing to say about this invisible sea of patent appeals.

Exclusive Interview: Commissioner Focarino — Part 3

In this final installment of my interview with Peggy Focarino, Commissioner for Patents, we discuss the examiner count system, production and Art Units and Patent Examiners that do not issue patents. What can the Office do about rogue Examiners and rogue Art Units? Does the Patent Office even understand this is a problem? Focarino was enormously candid, and it is clear to me that senior management at the USPTO know they have a problem and are working to create fixes.

Business Methods by the Numbers: A Look Inside PTO Class 705

What these numbers tell you is if your application is in Art Unit 3622 or 3689 you are in for a long wait to obtain a patent. The numbers also show that if you carry the case all the way through appeal there is quite a high success rate for applicants; 66.7% when in Art Unit 3622 and 71.4% when in Art Unit 3689. It is hard to know for sure what is going on in Art Units 3622 and 3689, but one number jumps out at me as particularly alarming. In Art Unit 3689 nearly 4 out of 5 of the applications they allow require the applicant to hop on the appeal track.

At the Core: Patent Examiner and Art Unit Data Explained

Early in my career, I encountered a series of approximately 20 patent applications that were assigned to a small number of different art units. During the time it took to bring the cases to resolution, I kept detailed notes of my experiences prosecuting each case. It eventually occurred to me that the information I’d collected might be useful to other prosecutors working with the same examiners and/or art units. I wondered whether my colleagues, by reviewing my notes and gaining insight from my experiences, might be able to accomplish resolution more effectively and efficiently. However, the subjective and anecdotal nature of my notes limited their practicality. Recognizing that fact, I began to consider strategies for facilitating ways in which practitioners could more effectively share their prosecution experiences with one another.