Visualizing Outcome Inconsistency at the USPTO
In an ideal world, your chance of getting a patent allowed is based on the merits of your patent application and independent of the largely random assignment of the patent examiner. As any patent attorney knows, however, this is not the case. Some examiners allow patents too easily and others seem predisposed against allowing any patents at all… The patent application grant rate across the USPTO is 66%. One would expect that a distribution of examiner grant rates would follow a bell-like curve with a reasonably small standard deviation, but that is not what the data shows.