Rowan Analytics Insights
Patent Prosecution Analytics Benchmarking Report – October 2021

Analyzing 112 Rejections Received by Top Filers in 1600 Technology Center

This month, we are digging into the 1600 Technology Center, consisting of biotechnology and organic patents. As with last month, we picked the most frequent filers since 2017 in this category and studied their rejection rates.

The USPTO’s 1600 Tech Center rejects a relatively high number of applications based on 112 issues — on average, 52% of the TC1600 Office actions had a 112 rejection. Interestingly, the five most prolific filers in this Tech Center are much higher than this on average with 65% of the Office actions containing a 112 rejection. Only one comes in under the average, with 49% of their Office actions receiving a 112 rejection. The others range from 54% to 81%.

We then investigated the Office actions that contain only a 112 rejection, and no other rejection type. Here we saw great variety – two of the top filers had significantly more rejections than the average, while three were lower than the USPTO average for TC1600. As we’ve highlighted before, one would think that costly standalone 112 errors would be more avoidable even with the complex nature of applications in this Tech Center.

Applications that end up in TC1600 tend to be very long and complex. Keeping track of all of that is understandably painstakingly tedious, time consuming, and error-prone, which no doubt raises the odds of a 112 rejection, as indicated by the higher average of such rejections in this Tech Center. We did a sampling of applications with such 112 rejections and found that some of the errors were consistency mistakes — for example, referencing one element in the claims and another in the specification. But why would the top filers have even a higher percentage on average of Office actions with 112 rejections? In other sectors we’ve observed that the top filers usually perform better than their peers when it comes to 112 rejections. Are their applications even more complex? Does the sheer volume make it harder to do the painstakingly tedious work of reviewing and rectifying issues of consistency that we saw in our samples?

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Sources: USPTO, Rowan analysis

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