Ex Parte Appeal as a Potential Means to Quick Allowances
We set out to study the life cycle of appeals by conducting a stage-by-stage analysis to identify what fraction of applications were exiting the appeal cycle and how. Specifically, we obtained data (using LexisNexis® PatentAdvisorSM) corresponding to each appeal brief filed between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2011. The data identified the stage at which the appeal exited the appeal process and the next significant event after exiting the appeal process. This assessment thus provides information pertinent to assessing what delays, costs and decision outcomes are truly associated with appeals… Examiners frequently terminate an appeal cycle expediently with an office action (often leading to an allowance) or an allowance, in which case the delay and a portion of the expense is avoided.