What is the record for the most references ever cited by an applicant in an information disclosure statement?
We are not sure if it is THE record, but we did find what we believe to be one of the largest IDS’s filed by a Minnesota law firm or legal department in recent history. An attorney from Fish and Richardson filed a big honking mother of an IDS in application 15/550,124. Take a look at what the examiner had to say about it:
Ah, so it does not matter how many references you submit, the examiners will dutifully work hard and consider every reference to the best of their ability? Not exactly, the examiner also goes on to lay out these form paragraphs:
What in the world would drive an applicant to the decision to submit over 2379 references? All we can do is speculate. It may not matter but the application was foreign originated. The assignee is Eisai Co., a Japanese pharmaceutical company headquartered in Tokyo. It would seem that the the overall family of related applications is pretty large. Here is a list:
Could many of the 2379 IDS references have popped up in these related applications? Maybe? But it seems unlikely that this would be the driver of such a high number.
What do you think? Should the attorney have done a better job of curating and pruning the references before submitting? Is there significant risk associated with not submitting some of the references? Does submitting so many references significantly affect the presumption that all cited references were considered by the examiner? These are just some of the questions that come to mind in these circumstances. Thoughts, anyone?