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Patent News (6)

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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Just Announced: Juristat/IPfolio Partnership

Integration will let users access examiner statistics from within their favorite management software


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Juristat Top 100 | 2016

Juristat is proud to release its ranking of the Top 100 U.S. Patent Firms.  This is the only ranking of U.S. patent prosecution firms that is based on the objective measurement of those firms' performance in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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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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The State of the RCE Backlog

Tackling the Application Backlog
When David Kappos took over as Director of the USPTO in August 2009, he was greeted by an overwhelming backlog of patent applications. By the following month, Mr. Kappos proposed changes to address the growing problem. These changes were directed at the USPTO’s docket management and examiner count systems. As a refresher, the examiner count system is one of the USPTO’s methods for influencing examiner productivity. As John Penny and Joshua Rudawitz of Nutter put it:

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Ford vs. GM: A Patent Battle (Detroit Edition)

As part of our ongoing project to pit major companies against each other to see who comes out on top in patent prosecution, we are now taking a turn to the great American automotive industry. The two companies in our ring this week are two giants of the field, and two of the most iconic American companies in existence--Ford and General Motors (GM). As a car-obsessed culture, the products these companies produce are etched into our national psyche and have even become part of our national identity. For Ford, classics such as the Thunderbird, Mustang, and Falcon come to mind. In GM's case, we have the Chevrolet Bel-Air, Cadillac Escalade, and Pontiac GTO. These vehicles evoke images of American individualism, the open road, and endless possibility.
While these products conjure up strong emotions for many, the companies that produce them are more concerned with making money. The best way for them to do this is to protect their innovations through intellectual property laws, thus encouraging the competition to pursue their own innovations and giving American consumers a wide variety of innovative, high-quality automobiles to choose from. It is this struggle that has kept Ford and GM on their toes throughout the decades. However, which comes out on top in obtaining patent protection for their products? Using Juristat's Marketing Reports, we compared a few key metrics of effectiveness in patent prosecution. Below are some graphs illustrating our findings.

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The Top Firms in TC 2100 | 2015

TC 2100 handles computer-related applications, including applications touching on data processing, memory, information security, and artificial intelligence. Its overall allowance rate is 66.2%, which is slightly below the USPTO average of 71.3%. In terms of average speed to disposition, it takes an average of 40.6 months to prosecute an application in TC 2100, which is slightly slower than the USPTO average of 35.8 months. Below are the top 10 firms based on allowance rate in TC 2100. All firms were selected from IP Today's top firms for 2015 and have at least 100 disposed applications in the technology center.

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The Top 10 Firms in TC 1600

Technology Center 1600 covers a variety of biotech, chemical, and pharmaceutical technologies, as well as plants and cosmetics. Its overall allowance rate is 51%, which is significantly lower than the USPTO's average of 71%. In terms of speed to disposition, it takes an average of 36.1 months to prosecute an application to disposition in TC 1600, which is nearly equal to the USPTO average of 35.8 months.
Below is a ranking of the top 10 firms by allowance rate among IP Today's top patent firms.*

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