We have a tendency on this blog to gravitate to utilizing the Minneapolis law firm of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner as an example. There really is no reason for that other than serving as a relatable frame of reference, as they are a relatively large firm dedicated exclusively (for the most part) to the practice of patent law. There is no alternative motive. So, please do not assume otherwise.
Anyway, today we will take a look at a few interesting aspects of the Schwegman portfolio of presently pending applications. Here is a breakdown of that portfolio sorted into annual buckets based on filing date:
For the record, the total number of Schwegman pending applications represented in this chart is 5,955. It makes sense for the earliest annual buckets to be lightly populated because most applications filed in those years have now been granted or abandoned. It also makes sense that 2018 is not as populated as 2016/2017 because many of the most recent applications have not yet been published. Such applications would not yet be on our radar screen.
Moving on, we next sorted the Schwegman pending portfolio into buckets based on the number of office actions issued in each application so far:
It is also interesting to consider how the Schwegman pending portfolio is divided across different technology areas. In order to do this, we identified how applications are proportioned across the eight art units to which their applications are assigned most frequently. That data looks like this:
This is not terribly informative. Several of these art units are in the same Tech Center Groups (e.g., 3791 and 3792). Practically speaking, their primary technology categorizations boil down to surgery, mechanical/manufacturing, and software. This makes sense and is consistent with our previous post about the makeup of clients in the Schwegman portfolio. Following is a link to that post:
For the final perspective on the portfolio, we distributed the applications into buckets based on the overall allowance rate of the examiner assigned to each application. Those of you that know the authors of this blog well will know how little respect we have for allowance rate as a practically useful metric. That being said, in this format, it is at least interesting.