There is tremendous variability within the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in terms of how each of the individual 8,000+ patent examiners treats an application and the inconsistency of allowance rates within similar art units. Similar art units can have as much as 50 percent variability* in allowance, leaving patent prosecutors to wonder how likely is this patent to issue, what will be the cost of this patent issuing and how long is it likely to take?

Understanding the data behind the examiners and art unit behavior at the USPTO can help you find these answers. LexisNexis PathWays™ is your crystal ball into the future of your patent application.

LexisNexis PathWays leverages the power of big data to enable you to predict the cost and length of time to obtain a patent in addition to its chances of success—all before filing the application.

An innovative patent classification engine created to predict the path a patent application is likely to take at the USPTO, PathWays enables you to characterize inventions in a way that will lead to a high-quality patent in the shortest possible time. PathWays provides highly accurate predictive analytics on USPTO art units based on the language used in a query, from a single word to an entire draft patent application. By entering a description of the invention into PathWays, you can view detailed information on the top five art units to which your application is likely to be assigned, along with a detailed allowance profile for each art unit.

By understanding the conditions of the art unit environment before beginning the filing process, your application can be drafted so it aligns with the art unit that represents the best fit and gets in front of the examiners who best understand your technology. Additionally, by utilizing Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) and United States Patent Classification (USPC) searches, legal teams can explore alternate drafting ideas in order to re-characterize the application and facilitate a path to a more appropriate art unit, or just use the classification candidates to narrow a prior art search.

LexisNexis PathWays is the first and only solution for predicting the path your application is likely to take at the USPTO—before you even file it!

Join us April 21 for a webinar to see LexisNexis PathWays in action and learn how it can help you improve the success of your patents. Click here to register or visit

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Sponsored post by Megan McLoughlin, Product and Content Director,

*Variability percentage based on art unit 3688 (transportation, construction, electronic commerce, agriculture, national security and license & review) with a 29.8% allowance rate and average 4 years, 5 months, 15 days to issuance. Compared to art unit 3681 (SAME title) with an 81% allowance rate and average of 2 years, 3 months, 16 days to issuance.