For decades, patent professionals have been working under the assumption that all patent examiners at the USPTO behave more or less the same way or that there may be some variability across different art units. 

But when it comes down to the examiners within a single art unit the belief is they tend to behave the same and it turns out this assumption is not correct. The exclusive new Examiner Lottery Framework™ metrics shine a light on the wide variability not only across the USPTO, but within individual art units. The new metrics provide guidance on what actions can be taken, prior to and after filing, to adapt their patent filing and prosecution strategies to improve their outcomes. Examiner Lottery Framework, consists of three proprietary tools within LexisNexis PatentAdvisor®, which helps patent professionals to strategically approach patent prosecution with data-driven insights.

1. PatentAdvisor ETA™

This disruptive technology was rolled out to patent professionals earlier this year. Superior in predictability to examiner allowance rate, the new ETA™ metric is calculated using a proprietary algorithm that takes into consideration the examiner’s pending portfolio, how long they have been at the Patent Office, number of office actions written and a number of other factors. PatentAdvisor ETA measures both the likelihood and difficulty of obtaining a patent, to support more strategic patent prosecution and patent portfolio management.

Within PatentAdvisor, the ETA metric is instantly identifiable using a green, yellow or red color coding to quickly designate the ease and timeframe for getting a patent. Currently, practitioners look at an allowance rate of 50% and think they have a 50-50 shot. With the ETA metric, we can see very different scores, which give patent professionals a much clearer picture of whether they can expect a protracted or quick prosecution with their examiner.

ETA is more accurate and a better predictor of examiner’s behavior than Examiner Allowance Rate because it:

  • Includes all pending applications in the examiner’s case load
  • Factors in how long the examiner has been at the Patent Office
  • Is driven by the examiner’s behaviors, not by the filer’s actions

2. ETA Distribution™

The second component helps patent attorneys understand the current makeup of ETA scores within USPTO defined groups – art unit, tech center group and tech center. Patent examiners are hard-working professionals with good intentions, but the reality is that there is substantial outcome inconsistency when comparing individual examiners working shoulder-to-shoulder in the same art unit.
This additional transparency allows deeper insight than ever before and provides proof of examiner variability beyond technology area and examiner expertise.

3. Lottery Map™

The third new metric in the suite is a breakthrough tool that draws from the data surfaced by PatentAdvisor ETA and ETA Distribution to help patent attorneys predict the likelihood of having their case assigned to a specific type examiner. The Lottery Map calculates this projection based on the number of each type of examiner (green, yellow or red), as well as the volume of application disposals by each individual examiner, in order to assess how the examiner lottery is most likely to play out for a particular group of examiners.

The Examiner Lottery Framework suite of proprietary metrics is now available to all current subscribers of PatentAdvisor. These new innovative metrics inform patent attorneys about what actions they should take in order to secure quality patents more efficiently. The Examiner Lottery Framework empowers patent teams to best overcome the variability at the USPTO, reducing patent prosecution costs and improving patent outcomes.

Learn more about these new game-changing metrics and the benefits you can receive by using them