Thursday, November 25, 2004

US patent applications with thousands of claims

I saw a post on an IP board asserting that only 1 in 10,000,000 US applications is longer than 430 pages (ie, basically there are no such "long" applications.)

The asssertion was based on the following reasoning.

-->Among 100 applications published on November 11, 2004, the longest was 68 pages, the shortest was 2 pages. The mean length was 12.9 pages, standard deviation 10.4. To estimate the frequency of very long patent applications, i.e. "thousands of pages" or at least 2000 pages long, I used a log-normal distribution.* Based on this model: 10% of the app's are more than 23 pages long; 1% of the app's are more than 51 pages long; only 1 in 1000 is more than 89 pages long; and only 1 in 10,000,000 applications is longer than 430 pages. In other words, it is unlikely that the USPTO ever received a patent application was thousands of pages long.<--

Although such items are not typical, they do exist. Because we are talking about what happened in the past, all we have to do is look. Extrapolating from the results of part of one day to infer --In other words, it is unlikely that the USPTO ever received a patent application was thousands of pages long.-- is risky business, and, in this case, wrong.

In the context of patent reform, then PTO Director Rogan told a House panel that an oil company had submitted a patent application to the USPTO that contained 5,100 claims. I don't know which one he meant. However, US App 20030196788 [titled "Producing hydrocarbons and non-hydrocarbon containing materials when treating a hydrocarbon containing formation," first inventor Vinegar, Harold J.; Shell Oil] has 8,958 claims. Separately, it contains at least 1,884 numbered paragraphs; number 1884 recites:

FIG. 193 illustrates a comparison plot between the average pattern temperature curve and temperatures at the coldest spots for each pattern, as a function of time when heaters are turned off after the average temperature reaches a target value. As shown in FIG. 193, average temperature curve 1882 of the formation reaches a target temperature (about C.) in approximately 3

[at this point, my text from the PTO database ends]

Additionally, US App. 20020093648 (Methods and systems for determining an implant characterstic and a presence of defects on a specimen; first inventor Nikoonahad, Mehrdad) has 6,632 claims. There are 175 independent claims and 6457 dependent claims. Apart from the claims, it has 580 numbered paragraphs, the last of which recites:

Further modifications and alternative embodiments of various aspects of the invention may be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of this description. For example, the system may also include a stage configured to tilt in a number of angles and directions with respect to a measurement device. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is for the purpose of teaching those skilled in the art the general manner of carrying out the invention. It is to be understood that the forms of the invention shown and described herein are to be taken as the presently preferred embodiments. Elements and materials may be substituted for those illustrated and described herein, parts and processes may be reversed, and certain features of the invention may be utilized independently, all as would be apparent to one skilled in the art after having the benefit of this description of the invention. Changes may be made in the elements described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as described in the following claims.

In terms of applications filed after November 11, 2004, we have
US appl no 20040235205 (titled: Methods and systems for determining a critical dimension and overlay of a specimen, assigned to KLA-Tencor, drafted by Conley Rose, P.C., published November 25, 2004) which has 6,632 claims and 580 numbered paragraphs.


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