Allowance by Entity Size

The chart above is an update on yesterday’s data that also includes patent applicant entity size status (Large, Small, Micro).  Large entities substantially outperform their counterparts in terms of allowance rates.

69 thoughts on “Allowance by Entity Size

  1. 9

    A few thoughts about the numbers that Prof. Crouch presents:

    (1) Micro entities have only existed for a few years, so naturally there are not a lot of data on them. A rough eyeballing of the micro-line, however, shows that it averages ~50% allowance over time. That sounds intuitively correct to me. Between my own experience back when I had micro-entity clients and my perusal of PTAB decisions in ex parte appeals involving micro-entity inventors, my anecdotal impression is that 50% of those folks had really invented something patentably novel and non-obvious. The other 50% had (1) re-invented that which was already (unbeknownst to them) in the prior art, and/or (2) they had not really invented anything at all, but were instead merely in possession an idea that could give rise to an invention with additional research.

    (2) The recent numbers for large entity allowance are a little north of 80%. That also jibes with my own intuitive sense.

    (3) Based on more numbers from a 2018 analysis (more recent, in other words, than the “death squad” days in the first year after IPRs became available), we now know that both the PTAB and the district courts invalidate ~40% of asserted claims. These numbers, however, are drawn from asserted claims, which are scarcely a representative sample of all allowed claims. Asserted claims are much more likely than most claims to have gone through serious pressure testing (prior art searches, ex parte re-exams, etc).

    In other words, the rate at which all claims merit invalidation is likely higher than the rate at which asserted claims merit invalidation. With that in mind, the 80% allowance rate for large entity patent application likely betokens that some much lower number deserve to have gone to allowance.

    Naturally, however, all of the allowances that I get are entirely merited. :)

  2. 8

    Dennis,
    Thanks for publishing these results — very important data that reveals a lot about the real challenges small and micro entities face in obtaining patents.

    Although there are several factors likely at play, this data is consistent with my analysis of PTO data that shows disproportionate lower utilization of appeals and RCEs by small and micro entities compared to their share in application filings. They are less frequently challenging erroneous rejections on appeal, and less frequently resubmitting amended claims in RCEs to vindicate their right to a patent. See link to innovationalliance.net . This is likely due to the fact that they cannot afford the extra fees and attorney costs for taking these extra steps.

    1. 8.1

      “less frequently resubmitting amended claims in RCEs to vindicate their right to a patent”

      I think you mean “less frequently resubmitting amended claims in RCEs to correct the issues preventing them from receiving a patent.”

      1. 8.1.1

        Perhaps – but I still see not a small number of cases that are allowed after the obligatory “count” of an RCE (the only “issue” being the examiner wanting a maximal count situation).

    2. 8.2

      Ron, cost is one reason for lower rates of appeals or RCEs by micro or small entities, but there are others. For example, many large entities are far more willing to continue prosecution even though only very narrow claims [of no real commercial value] remain available because obtaining larger total numbers of patents is considered important for their stock market image as a “high tech” company. Another reason is that by the 2-3 or more years an application of a micro or small entity reaches the appeal or RCE deadline no licensing or manufacturing interest has developed.

  3. 7

    Has Dennis ever created a chart showing the percentage of applications (filed/issued/whatever) by entity size. I’m curious what percentage of patents are by large entity versus other entity size.

    1. 7.1

      Here are the numbers for patents issued in 2021:

      MICRO 2%
      SMALL 20%
      LARGE 78%

      1. 7.1.1

        Thanks, that is about what I expected except I thought that micro would be even smaller than that.

      2. 7.1.2

        Thanks Dennis.
        The influence in Congress of “small inventor” organizations is far greater than your numbers for current patent issuances of MICRO 2%, SMALL 20% and LARGE 78% would indicate. As shown for example by the very large PTO fee reductions of the former, even though the latter’s increased PTO fees fully subsidizes the large PTO fee reductions of the former. Also, the Byzantine complexity of the current patent terms extensions legislation’s last minute amendments was reportedly primarily due to a small inventor representative working with former CA Congressman Rohrbach.

        1. 7.1.2.1

          Wow Paul, I can easily bet that advocates for those same “small inventors” would eat you alive for suggesting that they have influence in Congress.

          Your comment does NOT pass the smell test. I can bet that they would gladly exchange the (small) reduction in certain fees for real influence on matters of much greater import.

      3. 7.1.3

        Thanks Dennis. Micro and Small make up larger percentages than the 1% and 10% I thought they would.

  4. 6

    Thanks, Prof. Crouch. This recent series of analyses is very interesting.

    1. 6.1

      Agree — thanks.

      And agree w/Ben @5 on a rep / pro se chart. Also, is the % of pro se applicant’s known / determinable?

      . . . and perhaps a chart comparing the number of continuations of rep’d v pro see applicants / patented inventors?

  5. 5

    There’s probably be some attorneys here who’d appreciate an analogous graph with “represented” applicants compared to pro se applicants. I’m also curious exactly how large that gap would be and which way it’s trending.

    1. 5.1

      Likely such a graph would confirm the old adage about legal matters of all types, “One who represents themselves has a fool for a client, and a naif for counsel.”
      MHO, YMMV, etc.

      1. 5.1.1

        I’d guess as much as well, but it’d be nice to see the magnitude of the effect in real numbers.

        Plus it seems like it’d be a nice thing for some to show prospective clients.

    2. 5.2

      There are considerable differences in procedures, and in the number of applications, between the US and Australia. But, for what it’s worth, I conducted an analysis of the relative performance of represented vs pro se applicants in Australia a few years back.

      A key funding was that “when self-represented applicants file standard patent applications, these result in accepted claims just under 23% of the time, compared with a little over 53% of applications filed by applicants with attorneys”. If this translates to the US context then the gap is substantial.

      You can read the full analysis here: link to blog.patentology.com.au

      The postscript to that article is that it directly contributed to a change in IP Australia’s approach to educating prospective applicants. They strengthened their recommendations to seek professional advice, and went on to produce a resource they called the “Engaging an Attorney Toolkit”.

      1. 5.2.1

        Interesting. Thanks!

        I rather thought the gap would be even bigger.

      2. 5.2.2

        Thanks Mark.

        Does AU offer pro se help along the lines that the USPTO does, e.g., with “Requests for Claim Drafting by Examiner” under MPEP 707.07(j)?

        Note to pro ses: If you’re having trouble getting claims approved and simply cannot afford an atty (which you should ideally have), such 707 requests should be utilized far more often then they are. While you may not get as broad of coverage as you were hoping for, at least you’ll get that patent you’re working so hard for.

        1. 5.2.2.1

          “an atty or patent agent”

        2. 5.2.2.2

          No. Examiners in Australia stay well clear of anything remotely resembling claim drafting or amendment. There is not even such a thing as an ‘examiner’s amendment’ to correct basic formalities. IP Australia has programs to assist pro se applicants with procedural matters only.

          1. 5.2.2.2.1

            Thanks for the additional info Mark.

            “No.”

            Ouch for the little guys and gals in The Land Down Under.

            Great then that the USPTO gives a material hand to these folks.

            1. 5.2.2.2.1.1

              Actually, for all but the tiny minority of examiners who are patent attorneys (there are just 12 registered attorneys working at IP Australia) it would be contrary to the law to assist applicants with claim drafting. And even those attorneys would be providing assistance in a personal capacity, because IP Australia is not itself structured such that it could legally employ patent attorneys to act in that capacity. Under the Patents Act 1990, preparing and amending patent specifications on behalf of others is effectively the exclusive domain of registered patent attorneys in Australia, while a corporate entity providing patent attorney services must itself be registered and have an attorney director. IP Australia’s position is that it cannot provide any substantive legal advice or assistance to applicants. And, in the absence of legislative change, it is absolutely right.

              1. 5.2.2.2.1.1.1

                Interesting differences — thanks Mark.

  6. 4

    This is a major scandal. If the USPTO is fair, the three lines should overlap. This proves prejudice against individual inventors and small companies. The trademark on the assignment seems to determine allowability.

    1. 4.1

      It’s more likely related to funds for multiple rounds of examination.

    2. 4.2

      “If the USPTO is fair, the three lines should overlap”

      Why? Do you think these types of applicants behave identically before the office? If so, do you have anything to support that?

    3. 4.3

      It is actually quite logical that allowance rates are much lower for the relatively small number of individual inventors only fling a few patent applications and thus paying micro-fees. First, the vast majority of other inventors on applications these days are graduate or post-graduate engineers or scientists employed by corporations or universities. Those employers typically review and make decisions as to what is commercially and financially useful and worth filing on, and in many cases they and the inventors are well aware of prior art in the area of the subject invention. Also, large corporations tend to hire established patent law firms to handle preparation and prosecution of their applications, never filing pro se or via individual practitioners. Worse, too many individual inventors are victims of “invention promotion companies” advertising on TV and giving poor advice. Finally, there is a very large amount of prior art on the kinds of house-hold or automotive items many individual inventors file applications on.

      1. 4.3.1

        Are “invention promotion companies” really still a ‘thing?”

        I simply do not see anywhere near the level of advertising on such that I saw a decade ago.

        Your other points are all sound ones.

        1. 4.3.1.1

          Thanks. The amount of expensive TV advertising by “invention promotion companies” does seem to have decreased [but not ended]. But presumably more than made up for by what private inventors doing an internet search on how to protect or sell their invention will both see in their search results and start getting in their spam email.

    4. 4.4

      If the USPTO is fair, the three lines should overlap.

      Your conclusion here does not follow from your premise. The most important factor affecting the likelihood of reaching allowance is the claimed invention itself. Do you assume that small entities and micro entities are inventing just as many technological advances as large entities (who have correspondingly large R&D budgets)? I cannot see why one should make such an assumption.

      The quality of legal representation comes far behind the quality of the invention itself in affecting likelihood of allowance, but quality of legal representation is not nothing. Do you assume that the quality of representation that small and micro entities hire is the same as the quality of legal representation hired by large entities? I cannot see why one should make such an assumption.

    5. 4.5

      Rich, this is not a major scandal at all. It’s been said before and it’s a cliche, but with representation before the USPTO (and most other settings), “you get what you pay for.” I had a client who was convinced he had an invention better than buttered bread. I convinced him to pay me to do a patentability search (emphasis on novelty) with the agreement that if we still filed the application, I would deduct those costs from my fees. It took me about two hours of work, but I literally found his EXACT invention for sale on Amazon. There are many great solo inventors out there (all my clients except one are small or micro entities), but they often do not do the proper due diligence before filing their applications. Large companies always do. They know long before the application is filed the entire state of the art and landscape of the field. That will greatly increase their chance for an allowance. Also, those large companies hire the largest firms with the most experience. That depth of experience in the huge firms is a huge benefit during patent prosecution. There are definitely some good small or solo practitioners, but all of the big firms have that kind of depth. With the small or solo firms, it is hit or miss. I would have been shocked if the three lines were overlapping, or even close to each other.

      1. 4.5.1

        As you say, Dvan. And even more so, in any First to File jurisdiction, and even even more so under a TSM approach to patentability over the art. That’s because when the drafter drafts with the closest prior art already assessed, it is relatively easy to spin a tale of technical problem, perceived, addressed and creatively solved. Unemotional corporate applicants file only when they see a business benefit in filing. They have a well-founded expectation of getting to issue. With individuals as patent applicant, their determination to present their baby to the PTO increases with the amount of cost they have already invested in the project, not least because, when invited to comment, their family and friends (and anybody else they ask) tell the proud parent how beautiful and talented the baby is, and that, for sure, its potential is unlimited.

    6. 4.6

      To echo and summarize what many other have said, we don’t have nearly enough information about the disparity among allowance rates by entity size to conclude that the system is somehow unfair to smaller entities, or rigged in favor of larger ones. That’s not to say that this is not a possibility, but to make such a conclusion we would first have to eliminate many other possible factors that might lead to a decision by an applicant to abandon an application. For example, there may be differences in quality of inventions that impact their patentability, differences in strategic objectives for obtaining protection, differences in the timing of filing an application relative to commercialization, etc. It would be very interesting to see someone attempt to study this disparity while attempting to control for factors like this.

  7. 3

    That sad thing is that that small entities cannot use their patents. It appears that many have still not figured out that patent attorneys and the USPTO are running a confidence game. USPTO will hand out piles of patents to big corporations regardless of whether they invented anything. Just pay the $30K in attorney and USPTO fees until the examiner fills his quota and issues an allowance. Meanwhile, small and micro entities go in circles with the examiner and PTAB (and SAWS if their invention is “pioneering”) until they run out of cash. If they stick it out they get a patent with narrow claims that they cannot use. If they try to use the PTAB promptly revokes it.

    1. 3.1

      I can’t disagree with your assessment. Unfortunately it just goes to show that quantity has a quality all its own.

    2. 3.2

      “and SAWS if their invention is “pioneering””

      Psst. Your aluminum foil hat is showing.

      1. 3.2.1

        Ah, Ben, you remind me of the earlier you that steadfastly denied the existence of the SAWS program — up to the point that the Patent Office came claim and announced that it was indeed real.

        Maybe you missed that announcement.

        Because had you caught it, you would have recognized the Patent Office’s ‘other oopsie’ in admitting that SAWS in particular was only one of many such clandestine programs.

        That you want to denigrate the speaker for bringing up an actual item (that you yourself denied previously) only paints you as disingenuous.

        There is such a thing called ‘the heckler’s veto.’

        Meet its cousin: the “that’s a conspiracy shame silencer”

        1. 3.2.1.1

          “came claim” ==> “came clean”

        2. 3.2.1.2

          Ben & Anon, I cannot resist asking if you think the PTO set up a secret SAWS program to delay issuance of pioneer mass water balloon filler patents advancing the useful arts in order to save the world from more broken windows?

          1. 3.2.1.2.1

            That one? I do not and would not know.

            It IS possible, given that one of the factors admitted to by the Patent Office was that targets included “potentially embarrassing” patents.

            That being said – the fact of the matter very much IS (and remains) that the USPTO does have and continues to run programs “off the books” and in violation of 37 CFR 1.2.

            Those, like Ben that would cast dispersions on something plainly (even if only by an oops when faced with severe public backlash) admitted to by the Office are far worse than the mere clandestine programs themselves.

            Or do you think that purposeful efforts to gaslight WHILE engaging in such programs is somehow a ‘good’ thing?

          2. 3.2.1.2.2

            Why is this question directed at me? I am not propagating the nonsense that SAWS or SAWS-like programs are ongoing at the office.

            1. 3.2.1.2.2.1

              “I am not propagating the nonsense that SAWS or SAWS-like programs are ongoing at the office.”

              If you are saying that the PTO is not conducting off the record reviews of applications you are either 1) not paying attention or 2) lying.

              1. 3.2.1.2.2.1.1

                I really don’t know what you’re talking about. The only thing I can think of are informal things like TQAS consultations. But I don’t think it would be reasonable to say such are “SAWS-like.”

                1. I’m not surprised by your answer. After getting their hands caught in the cookie jar with “second pair of eyes” and SAWS and Mr. Vidovich’s operation, I don’t doubt that the PTO is doing more than ever to keep their off the record shenanigans secret. But as has been noted, the PTO admitted that SAWS was only one of such programs. If you think that they, after getting caught, simply closed down all those programs then I have some lovely beach front property in Nebraska I’d like to sell you.

                2. Ben and Anon, for long time commentators here I am surprised you both seem to have missed both the intended humor and its intended target in 3.2.1.2.
                  P.S. The only judicially demonstrated [in two lawsuits of his] deliberate* PTO application-prosecution-stopping program that I am aware of was the one for Gilbert Hyatt’s numerous very long pending applications containing thousands of later-added new claims. Those are now being handled by a special team of PTO examiners, which applications are finally gradually surfacing as patents [with 17 year patent terms].
                  *[Not to be confused with mere poor PTO docket management controls allowing some examiners to get away too long with avoiding working on some old applications in favor of some newer ones.]
                  [P.S. If APA suits had been timely-filed for unreasonable and unwanted administrative delays, which the APA prohibits, no PTO SAWs program would have succeeded for long.]

                3. Paul – I did not miss that you were aiming for Josh (with a comparison to Hyatt).

                  But the fact of the matter is that the underlying issue is extremely serious – and no less so for Ben’s wanton and callous disregard and his own p00r treatment of Josh’s comments.

                  Even Hyatt deserves the Rule of Law – see Sir Thomas More.

                  And I could not disagree more with your view that SAWS would not have ‘gotten by’ because in fact SAWS-LIKE items STILL do get by, and the violations of 37 CFR 1.2 continue unabated.

                  Which makes the chicanery of Ben even more reprehensible.

          3. 3.2.1.2.3

            No, my applications were not subject to SAWS. I am concerned for welfare and justice for all inventors affiliated with small entities. There are about 320,000 of them that have filed for patents across all fields of technology. A number of them are targeted by SAWS and the PTAB.

            1. 3.2.1.2.3.1

              “A number of them are targeted by SAWS and the PTAB.”

              “Are” targeted? You’re using the present tense. So your statement is, at best, as true as: “the leading cause of death among Americans is heart disease and unicorns.”

              1. 3.2.1.2.3.1.1

                In short order, Ben betrays his own piety, and merely seeks to obfuscate about a simple error.

                As I have noted, Ben was all about the denial at the onset of the SAWS debacle (just as the rest of the patent office was).

                However, as it became abundantly clear (and objectively so to any possible neutral third party), the Office abruptly admitted to the presence of SAWS being a real and existing program.

                Tellingly, in their own announcement to shutter THAT particular, single program, the Office ALSO admitted that SAWS was but one of many such programs.

                This is a public fact – and only a deceiver would seek to diminish or denigrate those that use this fact in their posts.

                So while Ben is certainly correct to point to an error of using SAWS explicitly as an ongoing program – it is not – he is also certainly not correct, but is actively disingenuous to use phrases like:

                I am not propagating the nonsense that SAWS or SAWS-like programs are ongoing at the office.

                and

                So your statement is, at best, as true as: “the leading cause of death among Americans is heart disease and unicorns.”

                Further, I absolutely LOVE the fact that both Ben and Greg DeLassus insist on this odd policy of self-censorship and provide NO rebuttal to the stark points that I present.

                Not that either could present anything close to a cognitive rebuttal, but the silence is affirming the correctness of my posts.

      2. 3.2.2

        Your aluminum foil hat is showing.

        If you think that it is “tinfoil hat”-type crazy to believe that the USPTO continues to run off-the-books programs to suppress certain applications, fair enough. I mean no personal disrespect to you when I say that the USPTO has lost its credibility on this point. From where I am standing (outside the USPTO), it is not crazy to believe in the existence of such programs.

        I do not personally affirm the existence of such programs. Once upon a time, however, I would have affirmatively scoffed at anyone who asserted the existence of such a program. Then the USPTO was obliged to admit the existence of such a program. Now that we have that information/experience, I cannot honestly say that someone has to be crazy to believe such an idea.

        1. 3.2.2.1

          Way, way, way too “polite” of a response to a known examiner in the Office, whose gas-lighting is reprehensible.

        2. 3.2.2.2

          “Now that we have that information/experience, I cannot honestly say that someone has to be crazy to believe such an idea.”

          We have evidence for humanity having been on the moon in the past. We have no evidence of any current occupation by humans. Is it crazy to believe there are people on the moon right now? I think the answer is “yes.”

          If the position taken was that the PTO could have such programs, I would not object like this. That would be reasonable.

          But Malone says it’s ongoing (not only ongoing, but targeted at small/micro entities!), while others claim that the PTO has admitted to the existence of SAWS-like programs. This is not reasonable concern about an untrustworthy agency.

          1. 3.2.2.2.1

            We have no evidence of any current occupation by humans.

            And yet — as has been pointed out to you — the very words of the Office when they finally fessed up to SAWs was that SAWs was only one of several such programs.

            This is NOT merely “a claim.”
            This is a fact.

            Your insistence on trying to gaslight around this is reprehensible.

    3. 3.3

      It appears that many have still not figured out that patent attorneys and the USPTO are running a confidence game.

      And more’s the pity. The whole patent system (including the micro entities themselves) would be a deal better off if micro entity inventors were to stop wasting their own time and that of the USPTO.

      1. 3.3.1

        Flannery O’Connor once told an interviewer “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think universities stifle writers. I think they don’t stifle enough of them… Some old lady said that my book left a bad taste in her mouth. I wrote back to her and said, ‘You weren’t supposed to eat it.’”

        Mutatis mutandis, Ms. O’Connor’s point applies equally well to garage-tinkerers and autodidact software “engineers” who apply for patents. The patent system really is not designed for such anymore. When they try to involve themselves with the USPTO, the experience is fairly well fated to end poorly on both sides. Better for all if the word were to go out to those audiences that their time and money would be better spent elsewhere.

        1. 3.3.1.1

          The patent system really is not designed for such anymore.

          The really sad thing here, from Greg “I Use My Real Name And Shill For Big Pharma” DeLassus is that this is the opposite message that we ALL should be aiming for.

          Instead of defaulting to the likes of Big Pharma, Big Tech, and such established entities, we ALL should be encouraging MORE self-innovators.

          Shame on Greg for leading people astray on this so very important point.

        2. 3.3.1.2

          Your view of entrepreneurs/inventors is odd and even condescending. No appreciation for Jobs/Woz starting Apple in a garage? I get the whole “sport of kings” problem. But I can also tell you that the PTAP invalidates a lot of multinational company’s patents, written and prosecuted by white shoe patent lawyers. But you already knew that.

          Working for a large technology firm, I hiredFenwick & West to patent an invention. What I realized is I did most of the actual patent writing work. They don’t know the invention, not really. The inventor does. They manage the USPTO. Went through the same process with a small firm I was consulting with. Same law firm, same experience.

          And that’s not that hard to navigate the USPTO, if your not an ass.

          I have found them very reasonable, helpful and professional in my Pro Se applications. Seven patents so far, more pending. Will they survive an IPR? Who knows. But a Fortune 100 company has the same uncertainty, don’t they?

          1. 3.3.1.2.1

            The Jobs & Woz garage myth is not really much of a counter-example to my point, because it is not true.

            Really, however, my point is not that individual inventors cannot discover patentable inventions. My point is merely that the patent system is not well calibrated to reward that effort, and really cannot be made well calibrated to reward small inventors without becoming less effective for the ends that the patent system is meant to advance.

            The very first words that my patent law professor said to us on my very first day of my patent law class were something along the following lines:

            Patents are a business tools. If you want the recognition of your peers for your scientific genius, publish a paper in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, or deliver a talk at an international meeting. Do not file a patent as a validation of your genius, because that is not what patents do. Patents are business tools, that serve business ends. If you do not have a business end in mind for your patent, do not waste your time and money applying for one.

            If a solo inventor has a clear and realistic idea how s/he expects to monitize a patent, then it makes sense for him/her to file a patent application. In my experience, however, few do have either a clear idea or a realistic idea how they expect to monitize.

            Does one have access to a manufacturing capacity? Does one have means to build a manufacturing infrastructure? Does one have contacts to those working in the relevant industry who can introduce one to the channels of distribution? Does one want the burdens and stress that come with starting a business?

            Obviously there are people (thank God!) who answer “yes” to most or all of those questions, but not many. If a given individual is not one of those rare individuals, then it makes little sense for the individual to apply for a patent. A patent is a business tool, so individuals who do not have both the aptitude and the appetite to make the business exploitation of the invention really ought not to be investing their own resources (and emotional energy) in the patent application process.

            The comments section of both this blog and other patent law blogs are full of individual inventors for whom the costs of solo patenting have vastly outweighed the benefits. Even some (e.g., Josh Malone) who—from the outside—appear to have benefitted more than they have suffered from the patent system nevertheless purport to have soured on the patent system. I am not condescending to those inventors—I am listening to them, and learning from their experience.

            1. 3.3.1.2.1.1

              without becoming less effective for the ends that the patent system is meant to advance.

              Total bunk.

            2. 3.3.1.2.1.2

              I am not condescending to those inventors—I am listening to them, and learning from their experience.

              How convenient that your “learning” dovetails with the Big Pharma Sport of Kings mantra.

              In other words, Greg “learning” is just more bunk.

    4. 3.4

      “It appears that many have still not figured out that patent attorneys and the USPTO are running a confidence game.”

      You left out Congress.

      1. 3.4.1

        You left out Congress.

        It is true that Congress should do away with the “micro” entity fee category. Still and all, the patent attorneys (and to a lesser extent the PTO) bear much more culpability for luring into participation in the patent system individuals who—in a moral moral society—would be discouraged from investing time and money into the system.

        1. 3.4.1.1

          Greg, your feeling that patent attorneys lure individuals to part with their hard-earned assets in a futile attempt to persuade the USPTO to issue an enforceable claim of intimidatory value. My impression is that no luring is needed. Inventors are necessarily dreamers. This is to be welcomed, but is also a problem in a society which so egregiously and unashamedly leads such individuals on, to believe that anybody can “make it”. All they have to do is work hard enough.

          As to your “moral” point, I think of all those TV “talent” competitions, in which the pickers select, not according to the quantum of talent the individual applicants exhibit but, rather, with total cynicism, according to what will attract the largest TV audience. No hopers are an important category of those selected to appear. not only do they better entertain the audience but they also encourage other No Hopers to suppose that they have a chance to make it big.

          Also in Europe, I should say, there is forever the problem of naive inventors ploughing all their money into patent filing and prosecution, convinced that their invention is going to Save the World. I should expect Dennis’s plots to be the same here in Europe. No plotting by the PTO needed. No luring by patent attorneys needed. It happens anyway.

          1. 3.4.1.1.1

            Not only DOES it “happen anyway,” the US Grand Experiment specifically AIMED to encourage that happening.

            It is desired to have as many people partake as possible – and patents being the domains of Kings has always been considered a P00r and less than optimal system.

            We explicitly did NOT want the type of feudal, guild-driven (and controlled) backgrounds then existent.

            Again, Greg does a disservice to the US system as a mouthpiece of Pharma-driven myopia. The view of “Stay out, you are wasting your time, this is only for us” should be denounced – and loudly so. Such is truly anti-American.

  8. 2

    You might consider running this again with continuations excluded, if you can, since in a lot of cases, these are close to being freebies for the applicant in terms of allowable subject matter, but can still be expensive for small and micro entities to pursue.

    1. 2.1

      Apotu,

      That’s an interesting point – would like to see two graphs, the above with the Cons removed, and then one with Cons alone.

  9. 1

    Now that is a pretty cool look .

    Is anyone really surprised though that the “Just Say No” Reject Reject Reject mantra (spawning from the Efficient Infringer ‘Oh N0es Tr011’ – patents are bad) so disproportionately affects the smaller entities?

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