by Dennis Crouch
The USPTO released a new data set of office action rejections, including an action-by-action breakdown of the basis for each rejection and the prior art relied upon. The first chart below shows the frequency that obviousness and anticipation rejections are found in office actions. The shift since 2009 is quite interesting — obviousness rejections are up significantly following KSR while anticipation rejections are way down.
79% of what: Note here that the data set only includes office actions that contain at least one rejection. Thus, for 2017 we could say that, 79% of actions with a rejection include an obviousness rejection. A second big caveat is that the data set only includes applications that have been laid-open; and they had OCR scanning or other data problems with about 10% of the rejections and those have been excluded from the data set.