In the three-plus years since Alice was decided, we’ve seen the case take quite a toll on the viability of patent applications in the software, e-commerce, and business methods art units. In these technologies, allowance rates have plunged, abandonments have skyrocketed, and a general sense of pessimism has pervaded the industry. However, the effects of Alice, while significant for certain tech sectors, are far from uniform across the USPTO. In fact, there are some art units at the USPTO where Alice rejections pose very little problems for applicants, while in others, they are an application-killer.
Below are the top 10 art units with the highest and lowest allowance rates for applications that receive Alice rejections. An art unit’s allowance rate is the percentage of applications that are allowed out of the total number of applications that are disposed in that art unit. Hover over the graphs for details.
And if you haven't seen our latest webinar “Alice, Three Years Later,” be sure to watch it below. In it, we update our snapshot of the effects of Alice by focusing only on applications that have been filed in the new post-Alice world. Topics include a summary of post-Alice § 101 jurisprudence, updated findings on the distribution of Alice rejections throughout the USPTO, and strategies for overcoming them.