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Who are the patent examiners who review your invention?

Examination of patent applications in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is conducted by approximately 9,000 patent examiners.

The examiners are grouped together into units that specialize in different areas of technology, and patent applications received by the USPTO. are directed to an examiner in the most relevant technology unit. Examiners have degrees in science or engineering that are generally applicable to the technologies of the inventions in the applications they examine, but quite often the examiners are hired right after graduation from college and do not have any significant experience working in any specific technological field. Thus it may be necessary to inform the examiner of the advantages of an invention that might not be immediately apparent to someone has not worked in the particular technology.

The examiners are extensively trained in the laws applicable to the patentability of inventions, but the attrition rate for examiners has often been high and as the USPTO has provided greater amounts of easily accessible information about issued patents and also published patent applications that have not yet issued, a variety of websites have been established with significant data regarding patent examiners and their respective “track records” for allowing and rejecting patent applications.

June 26, 2019

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