For the second entry in our series of studies on appeals data at the USPTO, we now turn to the art unit level, examining all art units to uncover those where examiners are affirmed the most and reversed the most on appeal.
By way of review, Juristat considers appeals in terms of wins and losses for applicants. If an examiner is affirmed, that is considered a loss for an applicant, and if an examiner is reversed, we consider that a win for an applicant. We also consider an examiner being affirmed in part and reversed in part as a win for applicants, since they got at least part of what they wanted out of their appeal.
The graphs below show the percentage of appeals in each art unit based on examiner affirmed/reversed rate. While we intended to present only the top ten art units in each category, there were two instances of multiple art units having the same percentage of examiners affirmed and reversed, thus creating ties. The data was collected from utility art units with at least 100 appealed applications between the years 2004-2016.
Hover over the graphs for detail.
If readers will recall, we discovered in our initial study of appeals data at the tech center level that TC 1600 and 1700 had the highest examiner affirmed rates, while TC 3600 and 3700 had the highest examiner reversed rates. Our study of the same data at the art unit level seems to follow that pattern, with five of the most affirmed art units being found in the 1600s and five of the most reversed art units being found in the 3700s. Thus, as we stated before, an appeal in TC 1600 may not be the best option for many applicants, while an appeal in TC 3600 is likely to be more advantageous.
Of course, individual examiners have their own unique records of appeal wins and losses, which we present in great detail in Juristat's Examiner Reports.