Avoid the Patent Pit of Despair: Drafting Claims Away From TC 3600
As any patent practitioner can tell you, this Art Unit and Patent Examiner lottery is extraordinarily important. It is easily possible for similar patent applications to be routed to diametrically different Art Units with respect to allowance rates and average prosecution length. When dealing with computer innovations, for example, the difference can easily be between being routed to an Art Unit with an 80% (or higher) allowance rate versus an Art Unit with a 40% (or lower) allowance rate. Sometimes certain Art Units within the computer implemented arts have single-digit allowance rates.
The lottery can and does make a huge difference, and despite what some patent practitioners think, there are ways to draft applications and claims to raise the likelihood that one will be routed to a more favorable Art Unit, with favorability defined based on a higher allowance rate and with a faster examination timeline.