An Interesting Perspective Of The USPTO From The Inside

March 19, 2009

in Prosecution Strategy,Useful Information

Gene Quinn of IPWATCHDOG.COM has a troubling an interesting post about the USPTO from the inside.  For anyone curious as to why the allowance rate has dropped below 50% (it is presently at 42%), and why the quality of examination has declined so much in recent years, I recommend taking a few minutes to read Mr. Quinn’s post entitled “Perspective of an Anonymous Patent Examiner“.  A few nuggets from the anonymous Examiner:

[The USPTO’s] “reject, reject, reject now” policy is encouraged by management’s policy of issuing a written warning on an examiner’s permanent file for allowance error percentage above 10%.

Additionally, there is a lack of motivation to get cases allowed, because there is no incentive for the examiner to do the extra work required to arrive at claim language which can be allowed.

Over the years, I too have heard many of the same views from multiple Examiners.  It is little wonder why morale at the USPTO is so low.  I leave you with Mr. Quinn’s final question from his post, which I second:

With so many Czars and hundreds of billions of dollars being thrown around Washington, DC, can’t we get just a little attention at the agency that is tasked with promoting the progress of science and useful arts?  I don’t think that is too much to ask for, is it?

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© 2009, Michael E. Kondoudis

The Law Office of Michael E. Kondoudis
DC Patent Attorney

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

e6k April 23, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Idk man, getting over a 10% error in your allowance rate is pretty bad. And yes, I understand this is a problem for people who only allow 3 things per year. But in their case, you better just be really sure before you allow something right? Obviously the art must be PACKED with stuff nearly what you need if you’re only allowing 3 things per year. And to get that error someone has to be a better searcher than you in 1/3 of the time you were given. Likelihood of that happening? Not that great. Besides, if you don’t like it, let your feet do the talking :)

Yue July 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Adding a 10% _rejection_ error warning would be nice as well.

Getting a very poorly done office action filled with arbitrary obviousness citations every 3 months and not being able to hold a knowledgeable phone conversation with the examiner is theft of our filing fees.

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