Menu Close

The Record for Most RCEs in a Single Application

The table below shows the applications with the most requests for continued examination (RCEs). The winner is Qualcomm application 11/487,054 with an shocking 24 RCEs. What is equally shocking is the application had no final rejections!  You can view the full transaction history here.

So how is it possible to have 24 RCEs and no final rejections? Its possible because of our wonderful duty of disclosure here in the U.S. (which, in case you missed the dripping sarcasm in that statement, I think is really stupid). All of the RCEs were filed with IDSs after the application had already been allowed.

I suppose it could have just been back luck that prior art kept surfacing for the 8 years between the initial allowance and the last IDS. But considering that Qualcomm occupies 66 of the 105 spots on the table, I am going to assume it is a purposeful strategy in order to keep the application pending and preserve the possibility of amending its claims and/or filing a continuation. And obviously Qualcomm is not alone, most of the applications on the list have very few final rejections relative to the number of RCEs. I didn’t go through all the file histories, but the ones I did go through were all very similar — a long string of RCEs + IDSs after the application was allowed. An overwhelming majority of the time the references were not cited in the next office action but simply a new notice of allowance was mailed.

There is one big reason that I don’t like this practice – it is essentially a tax paid to the USPTO. Filing 24 RCEs costs a boatload of money (even at small entities rates) and so this strategy is not available to entities without a lot of money.  At the same time, its wasteful to make companies that can afford it go through these charades. So its bad for small inventors, and its bad for big inventors. The easy solution is to have a mechanism for suspending prosecution indefinitely that is open to any applicant for any application.  But then the USPTO wouldn’t be raking in all those RCE fees.

Application NumberNumber of RCEs# of Final RejectionsAssigneeCustomer NumberPatent Number
11487054240QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969572179
9931469212QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969130810
9933639212QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969100457
10648767211QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969544860
11021791210QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969148256
10053765203FLEXIWORLD TECHNOLOGIES, INC.235819836257
10740722200NVIDIA CORPORATION455948788996
10942169200NVIDIA CORPORATION455948732644
11141807201QUALCOMM INCORPORATED A DELAWARE CORPORATION236969350875
11178809202InterDigital24374N/A
11610060202QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969578654
10420795190GTJ VENTURES, LLCN/AN/A
10420799190GTJ VENTURES, LLCN/AN/A
10871084191QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968526963
10876340191NVIDIA CORPORATION455948775997
11145357191QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968630305
11261822191QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, A DELAWARE CORPORATION236969408220
11487051190QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969125092
11937913190QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968730069
10236657181QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968812706
11250353180QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968934329
11486895180QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969137072
10826579171QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968745251
10956609171NVIDIA CORPORATION455948711156
11165882170QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969107109
11186697170QUALCOMM INCORPORATED A DELAWARE CORPORATION236969246560
11463129170QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968723705
11490228170QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968526966
10725904162QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969473269
10740779162NVIDIA CORPORATION455948768642
11077764160QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968669988
11180822160GTJ VENTURES, LLCN/AN/A
11370640163QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, A DELAWARE CORPORATION236969144060
11528141160QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968879856
10720938150VERIZON PATENT AND LICENSING INC.321278750482
10780824151QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968489949
10783771153QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968705588
11192769150QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968442441
11193546150QUALCOMM INCORPORATED A DELAWARE CORPORATION236968406695
11365291152SILICONIX TECHNOLOGY C. V.365389419092
11528307150QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968879857
11610189150QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969119220
12197993150QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969136878
98109621415SONY CORPORATION26263N/A
9922581140SIMPSON STRONG-TIE COMPANY, INC.4988479470
10246052141N/A262318333245
10390120146NVIDIA CORPORATION455948749561
105812181414KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS N.V.24738N/A
10720920141VERIZON PATENT AND LICENSING INC.321278761355
10740723143NVIDIA CORPORATION455948775112
10781751141JOAO CONTROLS, LLCN/AN/A
10860116142QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968705579
10922423143QUALCOMM, INCORPORATED236968694869
10997838142QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, A DELAWARE CORPORATION236968687658
11083693144QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, A DELAWARE CORPORATION236969143305
11089643141QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968645566
11251069141FLARION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.236968514692
11260895144QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, A CORP. OF DELAWARE236969179319
11274360142N/A267038035471
11285389142QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968539119
11285399140QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968692838
11412678142QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968766995
11440479141CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH261618270077
11581218142QUALCOMM INCORPORATED15055N/A
11586307142N/A447299792659
11608783142QUALCOMM INCORPORATED23696N/A
11726674140N/A631628557128
11929743140N/A275309283415
12203846141N/A365389484451
12715709141N/A24374N/A
12781192141QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969236976
12859161140QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969419749
10001477134MONTEREY RESEARCH, LLC609098103496
10062156132QUALCOMM INCORPORATED23696N/A
102486611313N/A349569271825
10580698130CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH261618279524
10720868132VERIZON PATENT AND LICENSING INC.321278472606
107399791313N/A53184N/A
10745160132NVIDIA CORPORATION455948390619
10942209133NVIDIA CORPORATION455948723231
10967007131QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968694652
11020457132QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, A CORP. OF DELAWARE236969137822
11132051131NVIDIA CORPORATION455948743019
11141934132QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969185538
11158584131QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968942639
11261361131QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969461859
11267638132NVIDIA CORPORATION455948493396
112983531314N/AN/AN/A
113170831311CYPRESS SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION609099299578
11401979131QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, A DELAWARE CORPORATION236969136974
11482430132GTJ VENTURES, LLCN/A9245270
11549604132QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968989084
11553414131QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969204428
11609627133QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969462604
11738866130QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969246633
11901484130NVIDIA CORPORATIONN/A8502709
12121493132QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968970272
12315124130GTJ VENTURES, LLCN/A9152943
12372954132QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969240877
12418378132QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969236885
12549560131QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969240810
12778270130QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236969338795
12925057134GTJ VENTURES, LLCN/A9911124
12944467131QUALCOMM INCORPORATED236968909962
13288348130N/A23373N/A

Other observations from this list:

  • Application 11/178,809 – After 20 RCEs, InterDigital let it go abandoned without paying the issue fee!
  • GTJ Ventures is the successor in interest to Joao Controls, which has been described as a “notorious troll”
  • Applications 9/810,962 (No Assignee) and 10/581,218 (Philips) appear to be the true RCE record holders with 14 RCEs filed in response to final rejections. The former eventually obtained a patent, whereas the latter did not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *