Patent procurement at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is affected by the type of examiner.
We gathered data from the LexisNexis PatentAdvisor database for each year from 2009 to 2019, for examiners in each of eight nondesign Tech Centers at the USPTO from the LexisNexis PatentAdvisor patent prosecution analytics database.
The data shows that the type of examiner can cause an applicant to double their efforts to obtain a patent. This doubled effort is evident in the allowance rate, the number of office actions needed per disposal (patent or abandonment), the time to disposal, applications with at least one final office action, and applications with at least one interview. Evidence of extra effort also appears for applications with at least two final office actions and with at least one restriction office action. Due to this distortion, knowing the type of examiner can help an applicant anticipate the likely costs to obtain a patent.
Part 1 of this series discussed the examiner types (so-called green, yellow and red examiners) and their effect on the number of patents issuing each year.