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Archived updates for Monday, January 14, 2008

How Patent Examiner Performance Appraisal May Affect Allowability

In "USPTO Examiners Performance System and Strategy Tips for Improving the Value of Your Inventions" Randolph Smith notes that although the standard for patentability should be the same for every day of the year, Examiners are human beings and they are pushed by deadlines for making their performance goals. Thus, "the chance of allowance typically increases as the quarter progresses. Also, the greatest increase is during the end of the 4th quarter (during September)."

His suggestions for taking advantage of this phenomenon include
  • The very best time to interview an important case is about 1 month before the end of the fiscal year.
  • The second best time to interview is about 1 month or so before the end of the other fiscal quarters.
  • Note: If you try to interview an application closer to the end of the fiscal year (or fiscal quarter), it may be difficult to schedule an interview with the Examiner because they may not be willing to meet since they must do a lot of work to meet their performance goals.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find that examiners sometimes call me on cases that they think are easy to allow.

January 02, 2008 10:03 PM  
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January 03, 2008 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was at the USPTO, we called this the "pencil rule".

At the beginning of each fiscal quarter, the Examiner gets a shiny new Eberhard-Faber No. 2 pencil and sharpens in.

He lays it down next to the claim. If the claim is longer than the pencil, it is allowable.

As the fiscal quarter progresses and the pencil gets sharpened again and again, the standard of Patentability becomes shorter and shorter.

By the last week of the quarter, the pencil is ground down to a stub, and even a 3-line claim is allowable.

It's a joke, of course.....

January 15, 2008 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for your useful post.

I would like to introduce 8 different forms of performance appraisal at

Source: 8 performance appraisal forms

Best regards

February 19, 2009 10:23 AM  
Blogger tukey said...


I read this post 2 times. It is very useful.

Pls try to keep posting.

Let me show other source that may be good for community.

Source: Performance appraisal interview

Best regards

October 22, 2010 9:24 PM  
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