Patent Abandonment

The US is reporting more new jobless claims last week than for the entire prior year — ending a 10-year streak of month-by-month “job growth” that began shortly after Pres. Obama took office and has continued for the past three years under Pres. Trump.

In addition to cutting employees, businesses are likely to cut patents. Russ Krajec offers some preliminary numbers on abandonment of rejected claims — finding that the number for the first half of March 2020 show an abandonment rate of double normal.

Effects of COVID-19 on Patents – Twice The Number of Abandonments

 

62 thoughts on “Patent Abandonment

    1. 7.1

      It is interesting too that we have one of the lowest rates of patents for $1 billion in GDP, which is one of the measures that is looked at.

      So I think we will go back to about 2006 levels. And if the Chinese pull back then I am not sure where the bottom is.

      1. 7.1.1

        I would like to see that interesting indicated country by country comparison of numbers of issued patents per $billions of GDP. But I would not be surprised if it is indeed now lower for the U.S. than for some other countries. Consider how much U.S. GDP is now related to services, software and entertainment versus development and manufacturing of novel physical products. Even some major current U.S. companies with physical products, such as Apple, seem to have surprisingly few product-relevant patents, as demonstrated in their fairly recent world-wide patent war with Samsung.
        Also there are some countries like Japan where many patent applications are written by the product development engineers themselves and inexpensively filed for defensive reasons [with government encouragement] – for product export freedom.

        1. 7.1.1.1

          Consider how much U.S. GDP is now related to services, software and entertainment versus development and manufacturing of novel physical products.

          This statement shows how much you are out of touch with the innovation protection side of the business, Paul.

        2. 7.1.1.2

          The GDP numbers are used in the IAM article and elsewhere.

    2. 7.2

      Another thing is when you think about those numbers you have to realize that technology has taken over the economy. The low rate of growth is astounding given the continued rise in the GDP and the continued rise in the percent of the GDP that is from technology.

      There is no doubt that the patent system is falling apart. The question is what will it do to the economy. Do people think we can live without a patent system for anything but say pharmaceuticals? Bernie thinks they should go too.

      But know that is the issue. The Lemley’s of the world are trying to end patents completely. Maybe they are right.

      1. 7.2.1

        Corporatocrazy would absolutely love competing on non-innovation factors.

  1. 6

    An analysis of maintenance fee payments would better correlate to current events. I believe, Dennis, you did this during the Great Recession. The analysis also should break out rates by country, so that we can see how the rise in infections by country correlates to maintenance rates.

  2. 5

    Regardless of the specific reason or reasons for the increase in abandonment rates (which will in material part be specific to each “abandoning entity”), it’s notable that the rate is generally tracking the increase in virus cases and deaths.

  3. 4

    Regardless of the specific reason or reasons for the increase in abandonment rates (which will in materail part be specific to each “abandoning entity”), it’s notable that the rate is generally tracking the increase in virus cases and deaths.

  4. 3

    >>Possibly these decisions were being made before the first action was mailed, just on the estimated value of the application as filed.

    What? I am sure these numbers are not inflated from express abandonments of unexamined applications.

    These numbers are from belt tightening where companies are abandoning pending office actions that are due or past due. Many AU 3600 OA’s from my clients have been abandoned.

    The tipping point is here where patents have moved into the expendable category of the budget. (As I predicted years ago. I said in the next recession this would happen.)

    1. 3.1

      And there are predictions from IAM magazine of 10-20 drop in patent applications this year. My guess is it may hit 30%.

  5. 2

    One thing that he might consider breaking out is the rate of abandonment after first action. Anecdotally speaking, I’m pretty sure we had a higher rate of abandonment after first action back in the 2008-2010 time frame compared to normal.

    It had the feel of belt-tightening en masse: companies looking at applications they had filed three years previously when cash was flush, and deciding whether those applications were worth pursuing. Possibly these decisions were being made before the first action was mailed, just on the estimated value of the application as filed.

    Many of those applications might have gone abandoned eventually if they went through normal prosecution, and the shock to the economy wasn’t quite as sudden as the situation now. We also were more than twice the time to first action then compared to now. So maybe that’s why the overall abandonment rate didn’t spike back then.

    1. 2.1

      Yes, the extent and timing of patent application and patent abandonments can fluctuate widely over time in many corporations. Usually for reasons having nothing to do with any patent issues, such as quarterly cash flow and/or product sales issues in the corporation as a whole. Such as is happening now.

      1. 2.1.1

        What is going on is exactly what I predicted. The patent budgets have reached a tipping point of being less important than the Wall Street numbers. This used not to be the case. There would minor cutbacks but not large gouges like we are seeing.

        It is because patents are no longer seen as valuable by corporations. Although, the only glimmer of hope I am seeing in my practice is that the corporations think the foreign patents in countries in Europe, S. Korea, and China are valuable.

  6. 1

    The article focuses on companies, and does not mention independent inventors.

    Maybe independent inventors have realized that the USPTO is running a con game.

    Or maybe we expect to be among the 1M – 2M dead in this country that covid19 will leave in its wake.

    1. 1.1

      NOiP,

      The Spanish Flu left 5M dead – worldwide.

      If you are just making up numbers, may I suggest that you refrain from doing so?

      1. 1.1.1

        I agree. I think it is ridiculous the number of people who say “this is math.” You know what else is math?–a communist country with 1.4 billion people had 30,000 deaths. But, you’re right, the US will probably lose 1, 2, 5 or 10 million plus (depending on whose “math” you use) out of 300 million people. I hope the local hospital has a bed open for me, because I am going to need treatment for the severe eye rolling injuries sustained when listening to the “this is math” people.

      2. 1.1.2

        From the Washington Post March 11, 2020:
        ——–
        Another forecast, developed by former CDC director Tom Frieden at the nonprofit organization Resolve to Save Lives, found that deaths in the United States could range widely, depending on what percentage of the population becomes infected and how lethal the disease proves to be. Frieden, who oversaw the U.S. response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the 2014 Ebola epidemic and the 2016 Zika epidemic, says that in a worst-case scenario, but one that is not implausible, half the U.S. population would become infected and more than 1 million people would die.

        link to washingtonpost.com
        ——

        That was March 11. The latest figures for the United States are 75,066 known to be infected and 1,080 known to have died from it.
        link to worldometers.info

        That is a mortality rate of about 1.4%. These numbers are under-reported because of the lack of needed test kits and lack of capacity to process the test kits.

        I reported a lower number for the expected number of American deaths because I didn’t want to scare yawl (you-all for those of you who do not speak Southern).

        So, anon, are you going to church on Easter Sunday?

        1. 1.1.2.1

          You doubled the worst case estimate of 1 million to your upper ceiling of 2 million.

          The March 11 numbers won’t change with your ‘latest figures’ from worldometers, as the worst case scenario projects full force and not a ‘snapshot’ which is necessarily inaccurate (and may be inaccurate for both high and low reasons).

          I doubt that you understand (and can properly leverage) any mortality rate, and would again ask you kindly NOT to so indulge yourself. Your calculations are flawed. So while I do appreciate you sharing the basis for your views, that basis does not support the number range that you actually used. Further, any “worst case” is something that already cannot come to be, as the worst case would have been an unmitigated exponential spread, and we already have some 40% (at least) of Americans in a Stay at Home mode.

          And no, I am not going to church on Easter Sunday.

          1. 1.1.2.1.1

            anon, if you were a woman (and maybe you are) you would be Cleopatra, the Queen of Denial.

            1. 1.1.2.1.1.1

              I am not denying anything other than your desire for FUD with numbers.

              Now, more than ever, critical reasoning is important.

            2. 1.1.2.1.1.2

              “anon, if you were a woman (and maybe you are)”

              Anon is too plebian to ID as female/woman. I try to get him to become more diverse in his IDs but he refuses.

              1. 1.1.2.1.1.2.1

                I always thought of anon as a male.

              2. 1.1.2.1.1.2.2

                Whatever happened to that woman noiseabovethelaw?

                I liked her.

              3. 1.1.2.1.1.2.3

                Why the F is gender even entering the conversation?

                And ‘plebeian,’ 6? Really?

                1. 6 is no longer a plebe. He probably has 15-20 years of experience at the PTO.

                  I don’t know why anyone cares about your gender anon. It isn’t really relevant.

                2. “Why the F is gender even entering the conversation?”

                  Gender is the most important thing eva anon! Just listen to women. In fact, believe all women, including Joe’s former staffer.

                  And ‘plebeian,’ 6? Really?”

                  If you ain’t diverse you’re little people around these parts anon. Learn to virtue.

                3. LOL, 6 – given as I do not do “virtue signaling” and absolutely refuse to genuflect to the liberal left alter of PC, then I will have to take your comment as a complement.

                4. A female could not be such a maroon. Complement and compliment are confused simply because they sound alike.

                5. (Here’s a hint: it’s a blog and great, typos happen — you should spend a little time and search out the Professor’s own comments on the subject)

                6. Ding Ding Ding! Vague Smiley Face !!!

                  But of course we knew that you are aware of the difference in meanings, Snowflake. Of course it was nothing more than another in your incredible endless stream of “typos.”

                7. Please do as requested and see the note written by Prof. Crouch in regards to typos.

                  Then plead stop trying to play ‘gotcha’ games. You add literally nothing to the conversation with such games, and only show your obsess10n with me.

                  Thanks in advance.

                8. Ding Ding Ding! “games” !!!

                  C’mon, Snowflake. Why so beat down and depressed? Let’s blame that evil keyboard running away from you with yet another “typo.” [what a maroon]

                9. Not beat down; not depressed. OK. Write something and we will read it. Now is your chance. Fill this room with your intelligence. Write. [what a maroon]

                10. You slip to the plural and also for what has already been given.

                  (And it was not my writing that I directed you to, but Prof. Crouch’s)

                  The games continue…

                11. Ding Ding Ding! “games” !!!

                  Anon I: “Maybe you should read what I actually write…”

                  Anon II (2 hours 16 min. later) : “And it was not my writing that I directed you to, but Prof. Crouch’s”

                12. Most times I don’t mind you playing the f00l and being an arse with your gamery.

                  But stop for a second and at least try to be the slightest bit aware of the start of THIS conversation.

                  Real people are getting really hurt and FUD and explosion of numbers (doubling a worst case ‘just because’) is not something that you should be so eager to play your ‘gotcha’ games with.

                  Plenty of other places for your games, Shifty. You need not be an arse ALL the time.

                13. …and here what I actually wrote WAS the reference to the master of this blog and HIS view of typos, which is what consumes you and your present attempt at a ‘gotcha.’

                  Your typical LACK of thinking is what shines forth in your ‘gotcha’ attempts.

                  Not pretty.
                  For you.

                14. “But stop for a second and at least try to be the slightest bit aware of the start of THIS conversation.”

                  Apropos. It started with your cursing about “gender” after being compared to the Queen of Denial.

                15. Anon I (beginning sub-thread) : “Why the F is gender even entering the conversation?”

                  Anon II (later, in sub-thread) : “You think it started with me cursing about gender…?”

                  Written records are such pesky things. They make one want to pound the table and make stuff up, no?

                16. It is NOT ONLY your choice of ‘beginning sub-thread’ that is questionable, it is also why the F would you take issue with my questioning how in the world gender plays a role in the discussion PRIOR to that point.

                  As I said: that you think this somehow a ‘call to action’ for your Tr011 games just shows how warped you are.

                17. Why so blue, Snowflake? We have no idea what it is that you think you are saying.

                  To review, in response to your education that “complement” and “compliment” have different meanings, you said (there’s that pesky written record again) —

                  Anon: “Real people are getting really hurt and FUD and explosion of numbers (doubling a worst case ‘just because’) is not something that you should be so eager to play your ‘gotcha’ games with.”

                18. Why so blue, Snowflake?

                  Wrong.

                  We have no idea what it is that you think you are saying.

                  Slipping to the plural again? THAT my friend, is a tell.

                  Further, it is NOT that I “think that I am saying” – nice bit of projecting YOUR confusion and lack of understanding.

                  You really are not good at this.

                  As to any ‘education’ from you, can the snark. It was a typo. Deal with it.

                  To help you deal with it, I even provided you a lead for you to follow up on. But ALL that you could do with that was v0m1t your snark on that too.

                  You really are quite c1ue1ess as to how you appear, aren’t you?

                19. Anon says: “Further, it is NOT that I ‘think that I am saying’ – nice bit of projecting YOUR confusion and lack of understanding.”

                  So help everyone understand. Now is your chance. Fill this room with your intelligence. Explain your response to the “typo.” Write, and we shall read.

                  Anon said: “Real people are getting really hurt and FUD and explosion of numbers (doubling a worst case ‘just because’) is not something that you should be so eager to play your ‘gotcha’ games with.”

                20. Anon said: “Real people are getting really hurt and FUD and explosion of numbers (doubling a worst case ‘just because’) is not something that you should be so eager to play your ‘gotcha’ games with.”

                  [sigh] I think we’re going too fast for Snowflake. Starting at the beginning, who, in your mind, Snowflake, are “Real people?” Did they get really hurt? You didn’t hurt them, you know that, right? It was just a “typo,” after all. Correct?

                21. Anon said: “Real people are getting really hurt and FUD and explosion of numbers (doubling a worst case ‘just because’) is not something that you should be so eager to play your ‘gotcha’ games with.”

                  You are going to just run and hide from something you said, yet again? [sigh] In your mind, in your own words, what do you mean by “Real people?”

                22. Dear Queen of Denial,

                  You really think that curling up in a fetal position, and sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming Nahh Nahh Nahh, is not running and hiding? You are, what, 12 years old?

                  Sincerely,

                  A. Lincoln

                23. Good to hear. We’re so glad. You are so impressive and you are so special !!

                  Anon said, in response to being schooled that “complement” and “compliment” have different meanings

                  “Real people are getting really hurt and FUD and explosion of numbers (doubling a worst case ‘just because’) is not something that you should be so eager to play your ‘gotcha’ games with.”

                  You say you are not running and hiding (yet again). This time we believe you, because you are a child of the universe.

                  But to understand what you are trying to say, first of all, in your mind, in your own words, what do you mean by “Real people?”

                24. Keep shoveling? Sure.

                  Shovel I. Complement: noun; something that completes or makes perfect.

                  Shovel II . Compliment: an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration especially : an admiring remark.

    2. 1.2

      The topic here is the total extent of U.S. application and issued patent abandonments, but independent inventors make up only a relatively small portion of the former and an even small portion of the latter.
      [Not to disagree with you that many private inventors have been realistically disillusioned about the importance of patents vis a vis more important product marketing and business issues. Or the difficulty and expense of patent licensing and patent enforcement, which has always existed, even if now increased.]

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