Renewal Rates by Tech Centers

Technology Center

Renewal Rate (First Fee Paid)

1600

Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry

81%

1700

Chemical and Materials Engineering

86%

2100

Computer Architecture Software and Information Security

90%

2600

Communications

90%

2800

Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components

89%

3600

Transportation, Electronic Commerce, Construction, and Agriculture

82%

3700

Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing and Products

84%

 

The table above reports the percentage of patents for which the first maintenance (renewal) fee was paid. The chart includes patents issued 2005-2007 and the results are grouped according to technology center. It is somewhat interesting to me that TC1600 has the lowest renewal rate.

3 thoughts on “Renewal Rates by Tech Centers

  1. Maybe the 1600 renewal rate is so low because most of the time the only claims they’ll allow are so ridiculously narrow that they aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on…and maybe it takes the Applicant a couple of years to come to terms with that (or decide, by committee, to drop the maintenance fees that aren’t worth it).

    Oh wait, that’s just the Examiners we get–I see ridiculously high allowance rates for other Examiners in the same art units. If the PTO randomly assigned applications to examiners, our allowance rate would be much higher

  2. TC 1600 is home to biotech and pharma. Typically patent protection is obtained before human or even animal testing. A large number of drugs (30-50%, depending on who you ask) fail Phase I testing, and many fail at the animal model stage. The first fee comes up right about the time that a lot of drugs undergo animal testing or Phase I trials, so the decision not to pay the maintenance fee can already be made at that point.

    Obviously there’s a lot more to TC 1600 than biotech and pharma, but I imagine those account for enough that the high failure rate in those industries can explain at least part of the low renewal rate.

  3. Maybe the 1600 renewal rate is so low because most of the time the only claims they’ll allow are so ridiculously narrow that they aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on…and maybe it takes the Applicant a couple of years to come to terms with that (or decide, by committee, to drop the maintenance fees that aren’t worth it).

    Oh wait, that’s just the Examiners we get–I see ridiculously high allowance rates for other Examiners in the same art units. If the PTO randomly assigned applications to examiners, our allowance rate would be much higher.

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