Crystal Balls and Patent Analytics: Making Accurate Predictions in the Patent Process

Feb 1, 2021

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Things might be different if we could see into the future. We would have notice of our future mistakes and could alter our actions to make the most of the days ahead. While there may not be a crystal ball that allows us to foresee the moments, months or years that lie ahead in our everyday lives, there are tools that can help patent practitioners and patent applicants make accurate predictions about the actions and opinions that will arise from the patent office throughout patent prosecution. Patent analytics based on USPTO patent data and patent statistics are the key to optimizing patent strategies by making the best use of the information at hand.

Informative Patent Statistics

There are many straightforward indicators of how patent examiners are likely to respond to a patent application and any obstacles that may arise. For instance, a patent applicant may turn to a patent examiner’s average patent applicant pendency times to roughly gauge when the patent prosecution may conclude. Assessing patent statistics that show how successful previous actions have been when taken by other applicants against a specific patent examiner can also indicate which actions will be most likely going forward. Comparing examiner patent statistics for multiple courses of action can help determine which action is most appropriate under the circumstances, such as when choosing between filing a Request for Continued Examination or an appeal.

Informative Patent Statistics

Predictive Patent Metrics

Raw patent data and statistics will always have their place in making predictions about future events; but they also have their limitations. Patent statistics are relatively simple calculations that show big-picture averages over a long period, but fail to account for recent changes or circumstances that may be artificially inflating or deflating the results. More sophisticated patent metrics, such as PatentAdvisor ETA™ available through the LexisNexis PatentAdvisor® patent analytics platform, can be even better inceptors of how the patent process will proceed. Each patent examiner’s PatentAdvisor ETA value, for example, is the single most informative metric for predicting patent examiner behavior because it is calculated using an advanced algorithm that takes many external factors into account, including an examiner’s experience level and recent trends.

A Guidebook for Uncertain Times

For patent professionals needing guidance or a second opinion on their patent strategies, PatentAdvisor™ provides a data-driven patent strategy recommendation tool that can help reveal the best courses of action. The PatentAdvisor Prosecution Guidebook provides easy-to-understand summaries of patent examiner difficulty levels, expected prosecution durations and how the actions available to a patent examiner can be expected to play out.

PA Prosecution Guidebook

We may be short on crystal balls that foretell the future, but there is an abundance of USPTO statistics and patent metrics that can assist patent professionals in performing their roles effectively and efficiently. The PatentAdvisor patent analytics platform uses USPTO patent data to provide users with informative patent statistics and to calculate sophisticated patent metrics. There may not be a crystal ball that allows us to see into the future, but the accuracy of many predictions based on patent data makes patent analytics the best alternative.


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Examiner Search allows you to search by examiner name for a filterable, examiner specific dashboard of patent analytics, including rejection specific statistics, appeal statistics, prosecution statistics, interview statistics, a backlog of RCEs and timeline.

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PatentAdvisor, the first-ever data-driven patent strategy tool, provides a systemic approach to crafting an effective prosecution strategy. Understand why certain patent applications take longer than others to reach allowance—then use that knowledge to devise better patent prosecution strategies.

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