Patentees often blame the USPTO for low patent quality. Examiners though often reflect upon the principle “garbage-in, garbage out.”
As part of its patent quality initiative, the USPTO is considering the patent document could be improved to better facilitate examination and ultimately improve patent quality at issuance.
The chart below comes from an internal USPTO survey of patent-examiners – asking them what attributes of a patent application are “most necessary” for quality (and efficient) examination. For each of those attributes, the survey asked about the frequency that they are found in patent applications (click to enlarge) (PDF with Explanations):
Note – the survey was conducted by Martin Rater – USPTO’s Office of Patent Quality Assurance chief of statistics.
Not surprising, the largest gaps are found in the area of claims written in a form that is so broad so that it is no longer relatable to the inventive concept. The chart here focuses on “top needs.” Examiners also noted elements they don’t see as necessary – perhaps most notably a “Glossary of terms provided (separate section in the specification).”