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.

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 As demonstrated above, if you’re working in the business methods art units and you receive an Alice rejection (which you are almost certain to do), you can be sure that an uphill battle for an allowance is in store. That’s where Juristat can help. Juristat offers data analytics tools to patent prosecutors to help them overcome some of the most difficult dilemmas they face, including getting around Alice rejections. Using data analytics, patent attorneys can gain a clearer understanding about how their examiner interprets Alice, giving them the opportunity to tailor their arguments in response to one of these rejections. Additionally, big data allows patent attorneys to predict their examiner’s next move, preventing the wasting of time and resources on logically ineffective prosecution strategies. 

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.

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