Which Firms and Companies Prosecute in Front of the Most Difficult Examiners? (2019)

We recently identified the ten most difficult examiners currently reviewing applications at the USPTO. Our research prompted the question: “Which firms and companies have prosecuted the most applications in front of these difficult examiners?”

After all, no matter how well you prepare for a patent application prosecution, examiner assignment can play a significant factor in your success. As we looked at our list of difficult examiners, we wondered which unlucky firms and assignees had the task of going up in front of them.

Just to recap, in our analysis of the most difficult examiners at the USPTO, we considered applications disposed (either allowed or abandoned) between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2018, and limited our search to examiners who had reviewed at least 100 applications during that time period.



Below, we have created two charts highlighting the 10 firms and 10 assignees who have had the most applications in front of these examiners during that time period.


This chart shows the number of disposed applications each firm had assigned to one of those difficult-to-beat examiners from 2014-2018. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these applications make up just a small percentage (less than 1.5%) of each firm’s total patents disposed during that time frame.


Here, we see the companies that had the most disposed applications in front of one of the difficult examiners. Most of these are major patent filers and again, we found that for most of these companies this makes up just a small percentage (less than 2.2%) of their total patents disposed during that time frame. The exception, however, is poor Jumptap, which had 16 out of 23 applications in front of these examiners over the five-year span. That’s 70% of their total output!


Of course, these firms and companies didn’t have the luxury of choosing which examiner reviews their patent application – and neither do you. And while certain technologies (like those in TC 3600, for example) may trend more difficult, the assigned examiner has a crucial role to play in your chances of an allowance. By understanding the profile of your examiner, you can better set client expectations while choosing to explore the most likely path to an allowance.

Curious to learn more about examiner analytics? Watch our webinar, "Using Advanced Examiner Analytics in Patent Prosecution," where we share best practices for using examiner data to make smarter, more strategic prosecution decisions, or request a demo of Juristat. 

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The Most Difficult Examiners at the USPTO (2019)


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