State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

Patent Allowance Rate Falls (Again) to 41%

According to US Patent and Trademark (USPTO) Power Point presentation the allowance rate has again fallen to 41% by mid year 2009.

allrate6.09This continues the sad trend of falling allowance rates that started in 2002.  Why has the allowance rate changed so dramatically in the last six years?  Sometime early in this decade, the USPTO started to define the “quality” of examinations by the allowance rate.  The USPTO tracks the allowance rate of every examiner and grades the quality of their examinations by their allowance rate.  If one examiner’s allowance rate is higher than the average allowance rate of the group they work in, their examination of applications is considered to be of lower quality.  If an examiner never allows any patent applications, they will be considered to have the highest quality examinations.  This has created a perverse incentive for examiners.   There has been some rumors that the new director, David Kappos, of the USPTO intends to change this, but the continued drop in the allowance rate is discouraging news.


September 30, 2009 - Posted by | Patents


  1. […] an update on the allowance rate click here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Patent Examiner on Why Allowance Rate is so […]

    Pingback by Patent Office Allowance Rate Falls to 42% « State of Innovation | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] attorney and pro-patent shill Dale Halling writes: “According to US Patent and Trademark (USPTO) Power Point presentation the allowance rate […]

    Pingback by Dumb Patent Attorney Comments | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  3. Dear Mr. Kinsella, I have already dispelled the low patent quality myth – see

    Since you believe that there should not be a patent system at all, you opinion cannot be considered objective on this issue.

    Comment by dbhalling | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] Monopoly Patent attorney and pro-patent shill Dale Halling writes: “According to US Patent and Trademark (USPTO) Power Point presentation the allowance rate […]

    Pingback by Science Report » Blog Archive » IP Law: Sad Patent Attorney Comments | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  5. Halling,

    You’re wasting your time and energy by “debating” with a brain washed Ayn Rand cultist. No matter what you say, he will always be the second coming of John Galt. He will always understand the deep gestalt of “economics” while in his mind you continue to dabble in the Geek world of “scientism” and in the absurd laws of Mother Nature. “Free” enterprise is the answer to all of mankind’s woes according to the self-proclaimed Objectivists. So be it. Let it go.

    Comment by step back | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  6. Step back, interestingly Ayn Rand does not agree with Kinsella. Here is what she had to say:

    “Patents and Copyrights,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 130.
    What the patent and copyright laws acknowledge is the paramount role of mental effort in the production of material values; these laws protect the mind’s contribution in its purest form: the origination of an idea. The subject of patents and copyrights is intellectual property.

    An idea as such cannot be protected until it has been given a material form. An invention has to be embodied in a physical model before it can be patented; a story has to be written or printed. But what the patent or copyright protects is not the physical object as such, but the idea which it embodies. By forbidding an unauthorized reproduction of the object, the law declares, in effect, that the physical labor of copying is not the source of the object’s value, that that value is created by the originator of the idea and may not be used without his consent; thus the law establishes the property right of a mind to that which it has brought into existence.

    It is important to note, in this connection, that a discovery cannot be patented, only an invention. A scientific or philosophical discovery, which identifies a law of nature, a principle or a fact of reality not previously known, cannot be the exclusive property of the discoverer because: (a) he did not create it, and (b) if he cares to make his discovery public, claiming it to be true, he cannot demand that men continue to pursue or practice falsehoods except by his permission. He can *copyright the book in which he presents his discovery and he *can demand that his authorship of the discovery be acknowledged, that no other man appropriate or plagiarize the credit for it—but he cannot copyright theoretical knowledge. Patents and copyrights pertain only to the practical application of knowledge, to the creation of a specific object which did not exist in nature—an object which, in the case of patents, may never have existed without its particular originator; and in the case of copyrights, would never have existed.

    The government does not “grant” a patent or copyright, in the sense of a gift, privilege, or favor; the government merely secures it—i.e., the government certifies the origination of an idea and protects its owner’s exclusive right of use and disposal.

    Comment by dbhalling | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  7. Halling,

    You might also add that property rights in “land” (in real estate) are no less surreal than the exclusive property rights in the “new and useful” areas of subject matter which are listed in 35 USC 101.

    When our founding/ discovering forefathers came upon this continent (the one we call Amerigo VespuciLand), there were no lines drawn in the dirt. No demarcations to say that this part belongs to that Native American tribe and the other subdivision belongs to yet another.

    No. We took out a piece of paper. We drew lines on the paper and claimed that these abstract drawings “represent” the land. We drew more abstract lines and claimed the new lines “represent” property lines. But it all is just abstract illusions for governing how people behave with respect to one another. Thou may trespass here but not there, etc.

    Comment by step back | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  8. Step back,

    Very interesting point. People in a hunter gather societies must have found real property rights as hard to conceptualize as some people fixed on hard assets find intellectual property. In fact, the American Indians did find the concept of “real property” meaningless.

    Comment by dbhalling | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  9. Halling,

    And a “Libertarian” who claims he doesn’t want government to “meddle” will be the first to scream, “Get off MY land or I will call the cops to force you out from within the fictitious “property” lines drawn on the paper map, where said lines are recognized by the government!”

    My Native American friends tell me, “Land Just wants to be free”. Sort of reminds me of how Software just wants to be free. Heh heh. 😉

    Comment by step back | October 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Step back,

      Yes, land and software and hopefully love (from beautiful women) all want to be free. Heh heh.

      These anti-patent libertarians, by denying the value of the human mind, have more closely aligned themselves with Marx’s physical labor theory of value than the free market.

      Comment by dbhalling | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  10. Did you see M Slonecker’s note about the “debate” here ?

    Comment by step back | October 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Interesting – thanks

      Comment by dbhalling | October 4, 2009 | Reply

  11. […] them.  Under his negligent stewardship, the allowance rate for patents fell from 70% down to 41%, click here for more information.   Mr. Dudas displayed the same government arrogance and ignorance that the […]

    Pingback by Jobs, the Economy and Patents « State of Innovation | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  12. hello,

    thanks for the great quality of your blog, every time i come here, i’m amazed.

    black hattitude.

    Comment by black hattitude | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  13. Excellent comme article, je l’aime.

    Comment by Bernard | March 2, 2010 | Reply

  14. Excellent cet article, mais il commence à dater maintenant.

    Comment by poivre | March 2, 2010 | Reply

  15. poivre

    Les infos sont très bien représentées.

    Comment by poivre | March 2, 2010 | Reply

  16. […] is the first time since 2003 that the allowance rate has increased.  For a historical graph see Patent Allowance Rate Falls (Again).  This is excellent news and shows that David Kappos, Director of the Patent Office, has started […]

    Pingback by USPTO Allowance Rate Increase to 45.6% « State of Innovation | October 24, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: