As part of our ongoing effort to identify firms that stand out using various metrics in every technology center at the USPTO, we again focus our efforts on TC 1600 this week. As you may recall, we ranked the top firms by allowance rate in a previous blog post titled “The Top Firms for Life Science Patents.” This week, we will uncover the firms that receive the fewest office actions to allowance in TC 1600.
There are two schools of thought regarding the average number of office actions a firm receives. The first is that a low number of office actions indicates that the firm does a substantial amount of research before filing an application and is exacting in writing their claims, rather than using a “spray and pray” method. This results in a simpler prosecution process that is usually cheaper for the client. The second is that a low number of office actions indicates that the firm didn’t fight very hard for the broadest claim scope possible and was more interested in getting an allowance than maintaining their claims. In these cases, the client got a patent, but it might not be as strong as it could be.
Each of these arguments has its merits and both no doubt play out in the real world. Most patent attorneys say that they want a good balance—too few office actions and they likely didn’t claim enough, but too many office actions and they’ve wasted time and money. At Juristat, our mission is to make the patent prosecution transparent and free of value judgments. Hence, below we’ve ranked the ten firms that receive the fewest office actions to allowance in TC 1600. To be eligible for inclusion, the firms must have had at least 500 disposed applications in the ten-year period between 2006 and 2015.
The average number of office actions to allowance for TC 1600 at large is 2.35.
10. Greenblum & Bernstein (2.32)
9. Bacon & Thomas (2.28)
8. Lathrop & Gage (2.24)
7. Honigman (2.19)
6. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney (2.18)
5. Klarquist Sparkman (2.05)
4. Westerman Hattori Daniels & Adrian (2.04)
3. The Webb Law Firm (1.82)
2. Dentons (1.44)
1. Jondle & Associates (0.63)