Shorter Patent Pendency Without Sacrificing Quality: The Use of Examiner's Amendments at the USPTO

84 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2019

See all articles by Charles deGrazia

Charles deGrazia

University of London - Royal Holloway College; USPTO

Nicholas A. Pairolero

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Mike Teodorescu

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Date Written: June 2019

Abstract

Prior research argues that USPTO first-action allowance rates increase with examiner seniority and experience, suggesting lower patent quality. However, we show that the increased use of examiner's amendments account for this prior empirical finding. Further, the mechanism reduces patent pendency by up to fifty percent while having no impact on patent quality, and therefore likely benefits innovators and firms. Our analysis suggests that the policy prescriptions in the literature regarding modifying examiner time allocations should be reconsidered. In particular, rather than re-configuring time allocations for every examination promotion level, researchers and stakeholders should focus on the variation in outcomes between junior and senior examiners and on increasing training for examiner's amendment use as a solution for patent grant delay.

Keywords: patent pendency, examiner incentives, productivity, cosine similarity, patent examiner

JEL Classification: O3, O31, O38, J22, J24

Suggested Citation

deGrazia, Charles and Pairolero, Nicholas and Teodorescu, Mike, Shorter Patent Pendency Without Sacrificing Quality: The Use of Examiner's Amendments at the USPTO (June 2019). USPTO Economic Working Paper No. 2019-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3416891 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3416891

Charles DeGrazia

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

Senate House
Malet Street
London, TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

USPTO ( email )

Nicholas Pairolero (Contact Author)

United States Patent and Trademark Office ( email )

Mike Teodorescu

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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