Better Patents Now™

A podcast from LexisNexis® IP with Megan McLoughlin

Megan is a patent attorney who has spent the last few years knee-deep in patent data trying to improve how patent prosecution is done.

LexisNexis PatentAdvisor® offers a comprehensive suite of tools for improving prosecution performance, and Megan helps to keep it running. Using tools like PatentAdvisor™, Megan explores how patent data can impact day-to-day prosecution and portfolio management decisions. Her 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 Megan 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.

Meet the Host

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.

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Podcast Episodes

#45: Patent Data Comparisons: Am I Better Than You?

This episode covers the concept of the "alignment report," a software tool for determining whether a company or law firm's prosecution performance is in line with what is normal at the USPTO. As Megan discusses the goals and potential pitfalls of such data...

#44: Can I Please Get A New Patent Examiner?

Megan discusses the challenges of getting a new examiner by filing a continuation application. In spite of the difficulties, this strategy has worked for some attorneys with the right tools—including LexisNexis PathWays™. PathWays predicts which group of...

#43: Zynga and the Impact of Classification

Megan reviews the prosecution history and examiner statistics for U.S. Patent No. 8,272,961, a patent owned by gaming giant Zynga. The patent covers a broad range of online gameplay but was issued surprisingly quickly. However, even more interesting than the...

#42: Prosecution Patterns with Professor Tu

Professor Sean Tu returns to talk to Megan about his research into what drives examiner behavioral patterns. His previous research revealed pockets of fast-moving and slow-moving examiners, but now he aims to answer the question "how are applicants and examiners...

#41: Naughty Words in Pre-Grant Documents

Megan searches through image file wrapper documents for oddities ranging from typographical errors to name-calling. Have you ever wondered how many times applicants lost their temper with the examiner on the record? Which art units issue the most rejections for typos?...

#40: Top 5 Audibles in Patent Prosecution

Megan pinpoints 5 prosecution scenarios where a strategy change may be necessary in light of the statistics. Like football, prosecution is a back-and-forth between the examiner and the applicant that requires constant reevaluation. For example, even when appeal may...

#39: Experience Matters More Than You Think

Megan discusses the importance of examiner experience in shaping prosecution strategy. Experience level is one of the factors in the calculation of ETA, PatentAdvisor’s proprietary metric that predicts the probability and difficulty of allowance, and it matters for...

#38: Analytics Behind “Stupid Patent of the Month” Blog

Megan dives into the prosecution histories of several patents featured on the Stupid Patent of the Month blog. The blog was created before Alice to shine the spotlight on (arguably) overbroad software patents, but even after Alice the authors have continued to uncover...

#37: The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis: Book Review

Megan discusses 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...

#36 Birth of the Ultimate Metric

Megan introduces 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...

#35 Bitcoin-Related Patent Filings at the USPTO

This episode evaluates the current status of bitcoin-related patent filings at the USPTO.  Attention is also given to a proposed strategy for identifying pockets of art units in the patent office where a particular technology of interest might be assigned. Segment...

#34 Impact of Crazy Christmas Patents

This episode 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...

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