James Cosgrove

Update: Juristat Usage Increased Allowance Rate by 19%

In June of 2015, Juristat published its first white paper studying the effect patent analytics had on our customers’ allowance rates, among other metrics. To do this, we separated all of our customers’ applications into two groups. The first consisted of applications where the prosecuting attorney had purchased and used a Juristat Examiner Report or other analytic ("Juristat applications"). The second group consisted of applications prosecuted at the same time by the same firms, but where the prosecuting attorney did not use a Juristat analytic ("non-Juristat applications"). 

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The Most (and Least) Appealed Examiners

For the third and final entry in our series of studies on appeals data at the USPTO, we will now take a look at the examiner level, studying all examiners at the USPTO to uncover those who were appealed the most and least. 

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The Art Units Where Examiners are Affirmed the Most (and Least)

For the second entry in our series of studies on appeals data at the USPTO, we now turn to the art unit level, examining all art units to uncover those where examiners are affirmed the most and reversed the most on appeal. 

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The Tech Centers Where Examiners are Affirmed the Most (and Least)

An appeal is one of the more costly and time-consuming actions an applicant can take on a patent application. As such, an attorney will want to recommend an appeal only if the client is particularly determined to receive an allowance. However, appeal win rates vary widely among tech centers, art units, and examiners, meaning that it makes sense to undertake an appeal only if there is a good chance it will be successful. 

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The Firms that Receive the Fewest Office Actions

As part of our ongoing effort to uncover the firms that perform the best using various key metrics of skill in patent prosecution (allowance rate, speed to disposition, number of claims lost, etc.), we wanted to rank some of the most efficient law firms for patent prosecution. Now, there are several methods for measuring "efficiency" in patent prosecution, the most obvious being average speed to disposition and average number of office actions. We have previously ranked the speediest firms in several technology centers (here, here, and here), but we have not yet ranked firms using average number of office actions as an indicator of overall efficiency. Below are the top 10 firms that receive the fewest office actions. They are ranked by the average number of office actions they received between publication and disposition for all utility patent applications disposed between January 1, 2005 and March 31, 2016. In order to achieve the most accurate sample sizes, we limited the pool of eligible firms to those that had disposed of at least 5,000 applications during the relevant time frame.

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School Rivalry: MIT vs. Caltech

As we continue to investigate major rivalries in the patent law world, we now turn our attention away from market-based competition and onto academic competition. This is a type of rivalry that, while generally good-natured, can get quite heated as various schools battle it out in academic rankings, job placement statistics, and on the field. When it comes to academic rivalries in the sector, there is perhaps none more fierce than the one between the two preeminent schools of technology in the United States--MIT and Caltech. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in Cambridge in 1861 to educate students in applied science and engineering in the rapidly-industrializing United States. Widely considered to be among the top technology schools in the world, MIT ranks #7 overall among national universities in the United States according to U.S. News, and #1 for several of its undergraduate and graduate programs, including engineering, chemistry, and mathematics. The school has produced 85 Nobel laureates, 45 Rhodes Scholars, and 34 astronauts.

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The Top Firms for Business Methods Applications

In the post-Alice era, allowances in the 3620s, 3680s, and 3690s e-commerce art units are an increasingly rare sight. The decision has wreaked havoc on the way the courts and patent examiners interpret software and business methods claims, making its application unpredictable and inconsistent. Many commentators allege that the decision is being applied overzealously by many examiners, resulting in almost every application in the e-commerce art units receiving an Alice rejection, which in many cases can be a death warrant.
Since Alice was decided in June of 2014, the percentage of applications receiving § 101 rejections in the e-commerce art units jumped dramatically from about 30% before Alice to over 80% shortly after Alice, with several examiners citing Alice in 100% of their rejections. Despite this arguably harsh application of the decision, business methods patents are still being issued, albeit quite a bit more infrequently than in the past. With careful strategic planning and an expert understanding of the intricacies of the case, skilled patent attorneys are still able to obtain business methods patents for their clients.

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The Rainmaker Firms

by Drew Winship and James Cosgrove

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Boeing vs. Lockheed: A Battle for the Skies

Air travel is one of the building blocks of our economy--the ability to get where we need to go quickly, safely, and efficiently, at least in theory. While flying the friendly skies evokes images of the glory days of traveling in style for many, the reality these days is one of long lines, frequent delays, and color-coded terror alert levels. Still, though, flying is essential to our modern way of life, and we trust the engineers at a handful of companies to build our airplanes for us. 

For our next patent matchup, we're going to be taking a look at two of the most advanced aviation engineering companies in the world: Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

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Merck vs. Pfizer: The Big Pharma Showdown

The pharmaceutical industry has, of late, been especially prominent in the public eye. This may be partly explained by the Martin Shkreli incident, in which a Big Pharma CEO raised the price of a vital HIV medication by more than 5,000%, from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. Since this high-profile scandal broke, the American public has been deep in conversation about the ethics of the industry. For our next great patent battle matchup, we're going to be taking a look at two giants of an industry--Merck and Pfizer.

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