Chris explains 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 he and Megan discuss the goals and potential pitfalls of such data comparisons, they discover that the most challenging step is actually selecting which applications to include in the comparison. Many patent practitioners make the mistake of defining the application set too broadly, to include applications from vastly different technology areas. This can result in unfair comparisons: for example, comparing a law firm that only works on software patents with one that works on mechanical patents.

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