Patent procurement at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is affected by the type of examiner.
We gathered data from the LexisNexis PatentAdvisor patent prosecution analytics database for each year from 2009 to 2019, for examiners in each of eight nondesign Tech Centers at the USPTO. The data shows that the type of examiner can greatly affect the options available to an applicant once a final office action has been sent by the examiner.
This result is evident in the response to after-final amendments, the submission of requests under the After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0, the filing of requests for continued examination, and the appeals to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
The first two articles in this series discussed the examiner types (so-called green, yellow and red examiners) and their effect on the number of patents issuing each year and the comparative extra effort required to obtain a patent.