Better Patents Now

A podcast from LexisNexis® IP with Chris Holt & Megan McLoughlin

Chris and Megan are patent attorneys who have spent the last few years knee-deep in patent data trying to improve how patent prosecution is done.

Chris invented the LexisNexis PatentAdvisor® product, a suite of tools for improving prosecution performance, and Megan helps him keep it running. Using tools like PatentAdvisor™, Chris and Megan explore how patent data can impact day-to-day prosecution and portfolio management decisions. Their goal is to bring more transparency to the process so patent attorneys can make decisions that lead to quicker timelines, better cost efficiencies and better patents now!

Listen to Better Patents Now to hear them talk about the best ways to utilize patent data in your practice. You can subscribe to our Better Patents Now email list and we’ll send you an email every time there’s a new episode published.

Chris and Megan discuss the sequel to Moneyball, in which Michael Lewis points out flaws in human decision-making that have applicability to patent prosecution. Like most experts, patent practitioners have inherent biases that can negatively impact their strategic decision-making. And just like the sports industry, the patent industry is undergoing a revolution due to the emergence of data that can help mitigate these biases.

Segment Type: Book Review

Listener Mail: How does PA know what law firm my case is assigned to?

Meet the Hosts

Chris Holt

Chris is the Vice President of Patent Analytics, PatentAdvisor and has over 15 years of experience as a patent attorney specializing in U.S. and foreign patents in the electrical and mechanical fields, as well as for computer hardware and software inventions. As the co-creator of PatentAdvisor, Chris has helped bring transparency to the opaque patent prosecution process with never before available patent office analytics.

Megan McLoughlin

Megan McLoughlin is the product director for PatentAdvisor, a suite of patent prosecution management tools. Previously, she worked as a patent attorney at the law firm of Nutter, McClennen, & Fish– primarily drafting and prosecuting patent applications. Her technical focus reached into a variety of industries, including medical devices, the food industry, software, printers, and biotech. Megan has a B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice, and a J.D. from Harvard Law.

Podcast Episodes

Chris and Megan discuss the sequel to Moneyball, in which Michael Lewis points out flaws in human decision-making that have applicability to patent prosecution. Like most experts, patent practitioners have inherent biases that can negatively impact their strategic decision-making. And just like the sports industry, the patent industry is undergoing a revolution due to the emergence of data that can help mitigate these biases.

Segment Type: Book Review

Listener Mail: How does PA know what law firm my case is assigned to?


Chris introduces Megan to a revolutionary way of measuring patent examiner behavior: PatentAdvisor ETA™. Unlike allowance rate, ETA™, provides an estimate of both the chances of and time to allowance. And because it is based solely upon the examiner’s own behavior, it is not biased by abandonments out of the examiner’s control.

Segment Type: Educational

Listener Mail: from Megan – Where does the name ETA come from?

Chris looks at the history of a patent granted for a device intended to detect when Santa Claus is entering a house by way of the chimney. Some time is also given to a discussion about whether patents in the silly category are good or bad when it comes to the corresponding impact on the integrity of the broader patent system.

Segment Type: Fun and Educational

Listener Mail: Chris reads through a list of other interesting patents in the silly category.

Chris introduces the audience to the producer of BPN, Jonathan Rundman. Chris and Jonathan pretend to meet at a cocktail party. Jonathan, having no real background in the patent industry, asks Chris about his job. Chris explains exactly what it means to work in the pre-grant patent data industry.

Segment Type: Educational

Listener Mail: Professor from East Coast (USA) University

Chris and Megan interview Joe Kelly, of Kelly, Holt & Christenson, about basic response writing techniques for optimizing the likelihood of a desirable outcome during patent prosecution.  Joe also explains his “multiple paths to allowance” amendment strategy.​

Segment Type: Interview

Listener Mail: Joe Kelly poses a question to Chris and Megan

Chris and Megan share 6 ideas for searching image file wrappers to enhance your patent practice. This rich content set—including claims, responses, office actions, and appeal documents—can help you find licensing opportunities, decide whether or not to hire an attorney, perform complex USPTO trend analysis, and much more.

Segment Type: Top X

Listener Mail: Question from Megan for Chris

Chris and Megan interview patent attorney Ryan Schneer about his experience as a patent examiner. Ryan discusses some of the benefits and challenges of working in a newly formed art unit and shares valuable insights into the organizational hierarchy at the USPTO. Based on his experience working on both sides of the table, Ryan shares his advice for patent practitioners.

Segment Type: Interview

Listener Mail: Ryan Schneer

Chris and Megan relay their top 4 strategies for using prosecution analytics for competitive intelligence. While many competitive intelligence efforts are focused on a competitor’s issued patent portfolio, looking at prosecution statistics can provide insight into what is coming down the pipeline, as well as early indicators of an issued patent’s value. For example, you can identify pending applications likely to be of value to your competitors by monitoring for their Track One filings.

Segment Type: Top X

Listener Mail: Steve from North Carolina

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