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Patent quality metrics

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

This page provides an overview of the latest patent quality statistics from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). We are committed to providing high quality, efficient examination of patent applications.

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Quality

Quality of examination reports

Across the Branch, an average of 20% of Examination reports are reviewed by an Examination Section Head in order to ensure the office action is complete and correct.

Table 1: Quality of examination reports non-compliant report rate (%)
Quality of examination reports 2016 2017 2018 2019
Non-statutory subject matter correctly identified <1.8 <2.4 < 2.7 <2.3
Art cited has a valid citation date <0.7 <0.8 < 0.6 <0.6
Art was cited under correct section of Patent Act <0.7 <0.9 < 0.7 <0.6
Argumentation regarding novelty/obviousness is reasonable <1.3 <1.3 < 1.5 <1.5
All correct claims identified as novel/obvious <1.3 <1.7 < 1.4 <1.0

Search Recording

A search record is provided with every office action. These records are reviewed in order to ensure both the search has been appropriately reserved and that the search is adequate.

Table 2: Search Recording Non-compliant report rate (%)
Search Recording Non-compliant report rate 2016 2017 2018 2019
Search strings appropriate <1.2 <1.4 <1.5 <0.9
Table 3: Percentage Reports Search Reserved (%)
Percentage Reports Search Reserved 2016 2017 2018 2019
Examiner appropriately deferred search 5.7 6.2 6.7 6.8

Timeliness

Pendency

Pendency is the amount of time between the request for examination date and the grant/issue of a patent application. The pendency of an application is affected by various factors including complexity of subject matter, examiner workload, and timeliness of applicant response, among others. CIPO strives to reduce the pendency of applications in order to provide applicants with timely service.

Table 4: Pendency
Fiscal Year Biotechnology (months) Electrical (months) Mechanical (months) Organic Chemistry (months) General Chemistry (months) Average (months)
2016 55.6 44.6 28.6 33.6 33.8 36.7
2017 53.6 38.6 27.6 31.8 32.9 33.5
2018 51.4 34.5 26.3 31.6 31.4 32
2019 49.9 33.2 25.7 31.2 30.9 31

Efficiency

Patent Branch calculates the average number of examiner actions before allowance in order to identify trends in prosecution. The number of Office actions varies by discipline and is affected by factors such as use of accelerated examination programs, length of an application, and claim scope, among others.

Table 5: Efficiency
Fiscal Year Biotechnology Electrical Mechanical Organic Chemistry General Chemistry Average
2016 2.6 1.7 1.3 1.8 1.8 1.6
2017 2.7 1.7 1.4 1.9 1.7 1.7
2018 2.7 1.7 1.3 1.8 1.8 1.7
2019 2.7 1.7 1.3 1.9 1.7 1.7

Online Feedback

CIPO's online feedback mechanism is one of the official ways in which applicants may contact us. CIPO strives to resolve issues within five business days.

Table 6: Online Feedback
Fiscal Year 2017 2018 2019
Transactions registered 422 397 1439
% transactions replied to within 5 business days 81% 74% 79%

You can find more information on how CIPO strives to serve patent clients on our Canadian IP statistics page or on one of the following pages:

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