Overcoming rejections is a regular part of a patent prosecutor’s practice. Broadly speaking, there are three main ways to try and overcome an examiner’s rejection: appeal, request for continuing examination (RCE), and interview with the examiner. We have previously looked at how appeals have affected application allowance since 2000, and look now at interviews and RCEs.
Patent professionals are increasingly using data analytics to streamline the pathway from initial filing to notice of allowance. Platforms like Juristat not only help ground strategic decision making prior to and during prosecution, but can also inform strategic decisions that guide business development for firms and counsel selection for patent assignees.
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One of the biggest questions every client wants to know is “how long will patent prosecution take?” A corollary to that question is “how much will it cost?” The most honest answer is that every prosecution is different and each application involves its own unique set of circumstances. However, one thing is certain--every office action and response thereto extends an application’s prosecution...

Appeals and Allowance Rates

November 02, 2017
Rejections are a fact of life for most patent prosecution professionals, and so is overcoming  them. Each response to a rejection represents a considerable investment of time and money, and prosecution professionals need to know which approach is the most likely to succeed.
In July of 2016, we published an article titled “The Most Difficult Examiners at the USPTO,” in which we identified the top 10 patent examiners across all art units whose allowance rates were the lowest. For most patent prosecutors, their examiner’s allowance rate is the clearest indicator of the overall difficulty of prosecuting a patent with that examiner, since a low allowance rate means that...
ELIGIBILITY & METHODOLOGY Much like the Juristat Top 100, this list is unique in that it considers both volume and performance. Our ranking is based on four key metrics, as measured from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015. These metrics are:
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...
The AFCP 2.0 program was established in 2012 to provide applicants with an alternative to RCEs. The purpose of the program is threefold: