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Posts Tagged: "PatentCore"

LexisNexis Acquires Patent Data Analytics Innovator PatentCore

HORSHAM, Pa., July 1, 2014— Reed Technology and Information Services Inc., a LexisNexis company, today announced an agreement to acquire PatentCore, the Minneapolis-based developer of the LexisNexis® PatentAdvisorSM solution suite. The acquisition will enhance the LexisNexis intellectual property (IP) offerings and give customers access to a broader range of innovative and unique IP services. “Our relationship with PatentCore has helped us…

Examiner Statistics: Insight into Prosecution Strategies

There is no way to know for sure whether the applicant could have achieved an allowance had they hung in, but it would have been helpful to know that the examiner was very experienced and likely had decision making authority. Such an observation would have given great insight into the fact that the examiner in question here has an overall allowance rate of nearly 70%. It no doubt would have also been helpful to know that after an interview in over 50% of cases, the next significant event following the interview was an allowance. In short, the statistical data shows that this was an experienced patent examiner who is interested in working with applicants and their representatives to identify allowable subject matter and issue patents where appropriate.

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.”

Will the USPTO Outreach Fix the RCE Backlog?

The problem of the RCE backlog is a function of the prosecution dynamic and lack of meaningful oversight into areas where RCEs are common and patents issue only after going on the appeal track. Still, in the press release issued by the USPTO recently discussing the RCE backlog and USPTO Outreach, Acting Director Teresa Rea said: “One of the purposes of this outreach effort is not to eliminate RCE practice, but to enable applicants to better understand the full range of alternative options we have available during the examination process.” This sounds a like the USPTO is blaming the patent community for the RCE backlog. Yes, there are ways to avoid filing RCEs but they all require patent examiners that are willing to participate in a meaningful way. What about the Art Units where examiners practically refuse to issue patents?

The RCE Backlog: A Critical Patent Office Problem

The backlog of unexamined patent applications was down over 15.1% in September 2012, compared with October 2010. At the same time, however, the number of unexamined RCE filings grew 95.56%, after peaking at 103.93% in August 2012. In the column above labeled “Totals,” I added the number of unexamined patent application with the number of unexamined RCE filings. When you consider all of these unexamined filings the progress of the USPTO is more modest. There is not a 15.1% dip, but rather a 8.05% dip in unexamined patent filings over this interval. It seems rather clear that the USPTO has traded an unacceptably high unexamined patent application backlog for a still unacceptably high but better unexamined patent application backlog PLUS a ridiculous RCE backlog.

Art Units in Misc. Computer Applications Have 72% Allowance

This all means that the “business method Art Units” are not the only ones charged with examining applications covering computer-implemented methods. In fact, there are Art Units where from a patentee perspective you would really rather be assigned because they have allowance rates in excess of 70%. In fact, one cluster of Art Units identified as covering “Miscellaneous Computer Applications,” which by class is assigned to data processing, has an allowance rate of 72.2% according to data available via PatentAdvisor™.

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.

A Patent Bigfoot? The Mythical First Action Allowances DO Exist!

Top 50 Law Firms with the most first action allowances according to PatentCore data. But where are these first action allowances coming from? All over the Patent Office really. They occur with plants (1661), organic compounds (1621, 1625, 1626), batteries (1725), active solid state devices (2818), electrical generators or motors (2834), optical systems and elements (2873), optics measuring and testing (2877), vehicle fenders (3612), data processing (3661), aeronautics and astronautics (3662), internal combustion engines (3748), valves (3751, 3753) and elsewhere throughout the USPTO.

Is there a Systematic Denial of Due Process at the USPTO?

After my presentation, as you might expect, I was approached by a number of patent attorneys. Story after story it was the same thing I have heard from so many others — depressing tales of not being able to get a patent. One particularly egregious thing I heard was from a patent attorney who told me about a conversation he recently had with a SPE from one of the business method art units. I don’t know which Art Unit, and frankly I didn’t ask, although it is probably easy enough to narrow down the Art Unit. This patent attorney told me that the SPE said: “we just don’t issue patents unless the Board orders us to.” If that is in fact what was said and is in fact what is happening then there is a systematic denial of due process at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and that is wholly unacceptable.

Do Corporate Giants Fare Better at the US Patent Office?

It does seems clear that the allowance rate for large corporations is much higher than the average allowance rate for all patent applications. But does that suggest some nefarious bias? Not so fast my friends! At the end of the day it seems to me that the way patent applications are prepared and strategic decisions made during prosecution of the patent application explain why larger corporations have a much higher allowance rate than the average.

Examining the Appealed Patent Allowances from Art Unit 3689

The data clearly suggests that that inquiry should be made into what is going on in Art Unit 3689. If there is nothing odd after evaluation then I will be the first to report that and say that after further evaluation the patent examiners in Art Unit 3689 are doing a fantastic job. In the meantime, however, one way that we can get a more complete glimpse of what is going on in Art Unit 3689 is to take a look at the patents granted only after a decision from the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. Currently, according to the data available in the PatentCore system, 13 of the 24 patents granted have been granted after a decision from the BPAI, and 3 others were granted only after the applicant filed an appeal brief. That rate seems extraordinarily high to me, as does the 76.5% reversal rate at the BPAI. A look at some of the appeals themselves is elucidating.

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.

Patent Strategy: Discovering Crucial Patent Examiner Data

What if you could have a crystal ball looking inside the United States Patent and Trademark Office to easily determine an array of statistical information related to a particular Art Unit or even a specific Patent Examiner? Can you imagine the types of strategic consultations you could engage in with clients? Clients hate being surprised with additional fees and unexplained and/or unexpected delays. What if you could with a few clicks of your mouse find out all kinds of information about a Patent Examiner and/or Art Unit? The amount of cases requiring an RCE, the average number of office actions, how often appeals are successful, how long it takes on average to get a patent, among much more information? Thanks to a new system created by patent attorneys Chris Holt and Joseph Kelly — the PatentCore™ system — you can obtain actionable and immediate intelligence on any patent examiner and on any Art Unit.