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Correctness Indicator

Our product indicators include metrics on the correctness of our work products.  We formulates these metrics using data from reviews on randomly-selected Office actions conducted by the Office of Patent Quality, OPQA, using the Master Review Form, MRF.

We consider a quality patent to be one that is correctly issued in compliance with all the requirements of Title 35 as well as the relevant case law at the time of issuance.  A statutorily compliant Office action includes all applicable rejections and any asserted rejection is correct in that the decision to reject is based on sufficient evidence to support a conclusion of unpatentability.

USPTO Correctness Indicators for Q4 of FY 2016 All Reviews
Count Percent

Quality Metric Category: Prior Art (35 USC 102 and 103)

Compliant

3527

88.4%

Not Compliant 461 11.6%

Total

3988

 

Quality Metric Category: 35 USC 101 (including utility and eligibility)

Compliant

3883

97.4%

Not Compliant

105

2.6%

Total

3988

 

Quality Metric Category: 35 USC 112 (35 USC 112(a),(b) including (a)/(b) rejections related to 35 USC 112(f))

Compliant

3738

93.7%

Not Compliant

250

6.3%

Total

3988

 

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Calculation for Statutory Compliance

Statutory Compliance for a Given Statute = (Total Reviews – Reviews Indicating Non-Compliance)/Total Reviews, where Reviews Indicating Non-Compliance = Reviews Identifying an Omitted Rejection for a Statute + Reviews Identifying an Improper Rejection for that Statute.

For these calculations, the total number of relevant reviews is constant for each statute and includes those reviews that OPQA conducted on randomly sampled Office actions.  An action that does not reject a claim under a given statute is considered to be compliant as long as the reviewer does not identify a omitted rejection.  For example, the compliance metric for 35 USC 101 includes as a compliant action many actions from technologies that are clearly patent eligible under current law, such as mechanical devices, because no 35 USC 101 rejection was made and no rejection was warranted.

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35 USC 101 Statutory Compliance metric

  • 35 USC 101 Statutory Compliance metric breakdown, includes information on statutory compliance with respect to the patent eligibility and utility requirements of 35 USC 101 as well as statutory compliance based on Office action type.

    Our 35 USC 101 Statutory Compliance metrics are based on reviews assessing patent eligibility as well as utility, where the reviews were conducted by OPQA on every Office action type from all technologies.  As described above in the section on the calculation of statutory compliance, an action that does not reject a claim under a given statute is considered to be compliant as long as the reviewer does not identify a omitted rejection.  For example, the overall compliance metric for 35 USC 101 includes as a compliant action many actions from technologies that are clearly patent eligible under current law, such as mechanical devices, because no 35 USC 101 rejection was made and no rejection was warranted.  It is important to note that the number of instances of non-compliance under the overall metric will not necessarily be the sum of the number of instances of non-compliance under each of the breakdowns because a single case that is non-compliant with respect to both 35 USC 101’s eligibility and utility requirements will be counted only as a single instance of non-compliance in the overall metric.
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Prior Art Statutory Compliance metric

  • Prior Art Statutory Compliance metric breakdown, includes information on statutory compliance with respect to the 35 USC 102 and 35 USC 103 as well as statutory compliance based on Office action type.

    Our Prior Art Statutory Compliance metrics are based on reviews assessing patentability under 35 USC 102 and 103, where the reviews were conducted by OPQA on every Office action type from all technologies.  It is important to note that the number of instances of non-compliance under the overall metric will not necessarily be the sum of the number of instances of non-compliance under each of the breakdowns because a single case that is non-compliant with respect to both 35 USC 102 and 35 USC 103 will be counted only as a single instance of non-compliance in the overall metric.
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35 USC 112 Statutory Compliance metric

  • 35 USC 112 Statutory Compliance metric breakdown, includes information on statutory compliance with respect to 35 USC 112(a) and (b) as well as statutory compliance based on Office action type. 

    Our 35 USC 112 Statutory Compliance metrics are based on reviews assessing patentability under 35 USC 112(a) written description, 35 USC 112(a) enablement, and 35 USC 112(b), including as these sections relate to 35 USC 112(f) limitations, where the reviews were conducted by OPQA on every Office action type from all technologies.  As described above in the section on the calculation of statutory compliance, an action that does not reject a claim under a given statute is considered to be compliant as long as the reviewer does not identify a omitted rejection.  As such, the compliance metric for 35 USC 112 includes as a compliant action any action in which no 35 USC 112 rejection was made and no rejection was warranted.  It is important to note that the number of instances of non-compliance under the overall metric will not necessarily be the sum of the number of instances of non-compliance under each of the breakdowns because a single case that is non-compliant with respect to, say, both 35 USC 112(a) and 35 USC 112(b) will be counted only as a single instance of non-compliance in the overall 35 USC 112 metric.
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FY 17 Statutory Compliance Targets

 

Statute

FY17 Statutory Compliance Target

35 USC 101

93 - 98%

35 USC 112

87 - 92%

35 USC 102

90 - 95%

35 USC 103

88 - 93%

The Office has defined the Fiscal Year 2017 Statutory Compliance Targets as a range to take into account each metric’s statistical confidence level.  The bounds of each range were set to project the impact of a new review standard that the Office implemented in fiscal year 2017. Under this new review standard, the Office will focus not only on assessing the correctness of the examiner’s ultimate decision to allow or reject under a particular statute, but will also evaluate whether the examiner’s rationale for supporting their rejection is sufficient.  It is anticipated that more instances of non-compliance will be identified since this standard sets more rigorous criteria for compliance on each statutory basis compared to the previous review standard which emphasized assessing the overall correctness of the examiner’s decision to allow or reject a claim under a particular statute.

As the Office becomes more familiar with the new standard, it is anticipated that the Office will adjust the target compliance rate ranges in future FY targets.

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Contact Us

If you have questions or comments about Quality Metrics at the USPTO, please send an email to QualityMetrics2017@uspto.gov.

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