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6 Charts On Reissue Applications

I have never had to file a reissue application, and I hope I never have to. Just thinking about surrendering an already-issued patent and having to go through the examination ringer again gives me heartburn. This is yet another benefit of continuations in the U.S. and another reason that I typically try to keep a continuation or continuation-in-part)pending as long as possible (but I can’t say I have ever resorted serially filing 20+ RCEs with IDSs).

Obviously,however, there are times when a reissue becomes necessary. For those cases, here is what the numbers look like:

Reissues Have Lower Allowance Rates Than Non-Reissues

On one hand, the fact that reissues have similar allowance rates to non-reissues seems unremarkable. But if you consider that these were applications that were previously patents, then the picture is less rosy — 30% of reissue applicants lost a patent that they previously had.

Reissues See More RCEs and Office Actions Than Non-Reissues

This means more-expensive prosecution and, as shown below, longer pendency.

Reissues Are Faster to First Action But Slower to Allowance

Reissues See Higher Examiner Affirmance Rates at the BPAI

Looking at these charts reaffirms my belief that money spent on a continuation as a prophylactic against the need for a reissue is often money well spent. Plus the continuation has the benefit of (hopefully) resulting in a second patent rather than (hopefully) resulting in getting your patent back.

Note: in general reissues represent small sample sizes and I have not taken into account the statistical significance of the differences between reissue and non-reissue. But I am pretty sure the general thesis holds — try to avoid reissues.

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  1. Pingback: Patent Riffs & Links for Aug 14, 2018

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