The Most Difficult Examiners by Technology Center (2021)

uspto examiner technology center

Patent professionals who specialize in a specific type of technology may run into the same examiners from time to time. If that examiner is one of the most difficult in the technology center, knowledge of past performance may be the difference between an allowance and an abandonment.

In addition to our list of the most challenging examiners at the USPTO, we identified the examiners with the lowest allowance rate in each technology center. While most of the examiners on our original list were associated with the Alice-riddled TC 3600, there are still many examiners well below the expected average allowance rate in their field. If you run into these examiners, a deep dive into their past performance is necessary for a successful prosecution.

To determine our list, we analyzed the allowance rates of examiners who had reviewed 100 or more applications disposed between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019. We limited this analysis to utility and plant applications, excluding design patents, reissues, re-examinations, and provisional applications. Additionally, we excluded Supervisory Patent Examiners from this analysis. This analysis was conducted based on public data available in March 2021.



All of these examiners have been at the USPTO for more than seven years. They are not new to the review process. How does tenure affect an examiner’s allowance rate? Make sure to sign up for our newsletter for future analyses. 

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When working with these difficult examiners, relying only on your years of patent experience may not get your application all the way to an allowance. With examiner analytics, attorneys can create detailed prosecution strategies for each examiner at the USPTO, with insight into interview and RCE success rates, end-loading rates, and more. Practitioners can specifically tailor their responses based on how examiners have reacted to past, similar applications.

Do you want to take a look at one of our examiner reports? Or learn more about examiner analytics in our webinar, Advanced Examiner Analytics for Smarter Patent Prosecution? We’d be happy to walk you through it.

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The Most Difficult Examiners at the USPTO (2021)


Technology Center Deep Dive: A Look at TC 2600