LexisNexis PatentAdvisor® patent prosecution tools are consistently on the cutting edge of prosecution analysis and strategy. Patent practitioners with access to PatentAdvisor™ use actionable USPTO patent data to anticipate and react to prosecution obstacles with far more significant effectiveness and cost-efficiency than with alternative solutions. Still, even though the patent metrics available through PatentAdvisor have proven time and again to be valuable tools for patent professionals, LexisNexis® IP continues to innovate and improve upon the features it provides. PatentAdvisor ETA™ is the newest and most informative patent metric for predicting patent examiner behavior, and it is changing the way patent practitioners and law firms determine both the likelihood their patent applications will issue and the level of difficulty they should expect throughout prosecution.
PatentAdvisor provides users with access to a broad array of patent metrics – all of which offer patent prosecution insights and can be used to navigate the prosecution process judiciously. However, even the most informative indicators have their limitations when the context is limited. In the past, a patent examiner’s allowance rate and average prosecution time, for example, were two significant considerations when determining how likely it is that a patent application will grant, and how long a patent application will remain in the prosecution stage. Both offer essential pieces to a more significant puzzle, but additional factors that affect the reliability of these metrics, such as an examiner’s experience level and their pending portfolio, should also be taken into consideration. Accessing your patent examiner’s ETA™ is really the best way to see the big picture.
A patent examiner’s ETA takes into account a multitude of factors that impact patent examiner behavior and allows PatentAdvisor to make prosecution decisions with greater confidence. Based on a proprietary algorithm, each ETA weighs and incorporates patent examiner’s background, including how long an examiner has been at the USPTO, as well as information from not only the patent applications a patent examiner has previously seen, but also the applications currently pending on the examiner’s desk. The result is a more significant and reliable patent prosecution metric than examiner allowance rate.
Take this example, this is a real examiner (name has been changed to protect the examiner), they have a very high allowance rate, but they also have a very high ETA, which is bad. If you use only the allowance rate to guide your prosecution strategy with this examiner, it would be very misleading.
PatentAdvisor presents each ETA as a numerical value reflecting the degree of prosecution difficulty, the likely prosecution time, and the need to provide ongoing attention to a patent application. To simplify interpretation and to communicate challenges ahead, ETAs within specific ranges are color-coded as either green, yellow, or red. The PatentAdvisor platform also provides written description of probable hurdles and offers suggested courses of action to overcome them.
Patent professionals can use ETA to chart the course for each newly filed patent application – enabling patent prosecution to be navigated more quickly and with less expense. Actions that may be necessary and the consequences they bring, such as the filing of an RCE and the associated costs, can also be explained to clients more transparently to cultivate goodwill and better client relationships. And, law firms can use PatentAdvisor and ETA to quickly identify lingering low-value applications that are of more cost than of value within entire patent portfolios.
LexisNexis IP continues to innovate, and PatentAdvisor ETA is mixing up patent prosecution for the better.