Rowan Analytics Insights
Patent Analytics Benchmarking Report – July 2021

Analyzing 112 Rejections Based on Total Office Actions

This month we are taking a look at the number of 112 rejections compared to the total number of Office actions received by a filing entity during patent prosecution. We began to notice that the companies with the most Office actions had a lower percentage of 112 rejections than the average, and it piqued our curiosity, so we dug in a bit deeper.

We studied 22,726 Office actions received by 9,519 entities in June 2021. On average, 37% of the Office actions contain a 112 rejection. When we averaged the top 20 Office action recipients, which represents a third of the total Office actions received, the percentage containing a 112 rejection dropped to 26%. This means as a group they received almost 30% fewer 112 rejections than the average. As we expanded to the top 50 Office action recipients, the percentage of Office actions containing a 112 rejection held at 26%, but when we expanded to the top 100, the percentage started to creep up, to 29%.

Next, we looked at the entities that had received 10 or more Office actions, which is the top 286 Office action recipients. Their average percentage of Office actions with a 112 rejection grew to 31%. And when we expanded the analysis to the top 1000 recipients, the percentage of Office actions with a 112 rejection surpassed the average at 40%.

What drives these numbers? Is it possible that the higher volume filers have more experience in their patent prosecution and therefore can avoid 112 rejections? Or are they using more experienced outside counsel for their drafting? Or are they more likely to use patent drafting software like Rowan Patents that helps prevent the kind of errors that would lead to such a rejection?

Given that a response to an Office action typically costs thousands of dollars, and adds months to the patent prosecution process, we wonder how much the additional 112 rejections are costing the filing entities. Would a better use of technology like patent drafting software not only save time and money but also lead to a higher quality patent in the end?

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Sources: USPTO, Rowan analysis

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