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6 Charts On Reissue Applications

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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 to 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/PTAB

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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