Meet your plant patent examiners

We’ve added nearly 10,000 patents to our plant patent database at hort.net going back through 2005, and we thought that it would be fun to look at the patent examiners. How many are there? Which ones are busiest? This won’t reveal anything new, but we’re hoping it offers insights into what can be done with the data and you’ll give feedback about what you’d like to see.

If we query our database for unique primary patent examiners, this list is returned:

mysql> SELECT COUNT(application_examiner.entity_id) AS total,entity_name FROM application_examiner LEFT JOIN entity ON entity.entity_id = application_examiner.entity_id WHERE examiner_type="primary" GROUP BY entity_name ORDER BY total DESC; 
+-------+----------------------------+
| total | entity_name                |
+-------+----------------------------+
|  1922 | Bell, Kent                 |
|  1271 | Bell, Kent L               |
|  1163 | Para, Annette H            |
|  1061 | Hwu, June                  |
|  1048 | Grunberg, Anne Marie       |
|   705 | Para, Annette              |
|   594 | McCormick Ewoldt, Susan    |18/15
|   415 | McCormick Ewoldt, Susan B  |
|   336 | Haas, Wendy C.             |
|   328 | Haas, Wendy C              |
|   218 | Bell, Kent L.              |
|   186 | Haas, Wendy                |
|   114 | Grunberg, Anne             |
|    98 | Locker, Howard J.          |
|    82 | Locker, Howard             |
|    64 | Campell, Bruce R.          |
|    31 | Para, Annette H.           |
|    30 | Ewoldt, Susan McCormick    |
|    21 | McCormick Ewoldt, S. B     |
|    18 | McCormick Ewoldt, S. B.    |
|    16 | Locker, Howard J           |
|     9 | Kruse, David H             |
|     6 | McCormick-Ewoldt, S. B.    |
|     2 | Grunberg, Ann Marie        |
|     2 | McCormick Ewoldt, Susan B. |
|     2 | Krawczewicz Myers, Louanne |
|     1 | Haas, W. C.                |
|     1 | Bell., Kent L.             |
|     1 | Grundberg, Anne Marie      |
|     1 | Para, Annetta H            |
|     1 | Hass, Wendy                |
|     1 | Bell, Kentl L              |
|     1 | Wu, June                   |
|     1 | Ball, Kent                 |
|     1 | Para, Annertte H           |
|     1 | Hwu, Jane                  |
|     1 | McCormick Edwoldt, Susan   |
|     1 | Helmer, Georgia            |
|     1 | Bell, Kenbt L              |
|     1 | Campell, Bruce R           |
|     1 | Ewoldt, S. B McCormick     |
|     1 | McCormick-Ewoldt, S. B     |
|     1 | McCormick, S. B.           |
|     1 | Grunbeg, Anne Marie        |
|     1 | Para, Annnette H           |
|     1 | Campbell, Bruce            |
|     1 | Campbell, Bruce R.         |
|     1 | Hass, Wendy C.             |
|     1 | McCormick-Ewoldt, Susan B  |
|     1 | Campell, Btuce R.          |
|     1 | Grunsberg, Anne Marie      |
|     1 | McCormack Ewoldt, Susan B  |
|     1 | McCormick Ewoldt, Sysan B  |
+-------+----------------------------+
53 rows in set (0.03 sec)

Unfortunately, the list doesn’t deal too well with the misspellings and variations that we talked about in our last post.

If we only group patent examiners based on the first four characters of their last name (which wouldn’t always work, but will in this case) we come up with a much shorter list:

mysql> select count(application_examiner.entity_id) as total,left(entity_name,4) as shortname, entity_name from application_examiner left join entity on entity.entity_id = application_examiner.entity_id where examiner_type="primary" group by shortname order by total desc;
+-------+-----------+----------------------------+
| total | shortname | entity_name                |
+-------+-----------+----------------------------+
|  3414 | Bell      | Bell, Kent                 |
|  1902 | Para      | Para, Annette H            |
|  1167 | Grun      | Grunberg, Anne Marie       |
|  1062 | McCo      | McCormick Ewoldt, Susan    |
|  1062 | Hwu,      | Hwu, June                  |
|   851 | Haas      | Haas, Wendy C.             |
|   196 | Lock      | Locker, Howard J.          |
|    68 | Camp      | Campell, Bruce R.          |
|    31 | Ewol      | Ewoldt, S. B McCormick     |
|     9 | Krus      | Kruse, David H             |
|     2 | Kraw      | Krawczewicz Myers, Louanne |
|     2 | Hass      | Hass, Wendy                |
|     1 | Ball      | Ball, Kent                 |
|     1 | Helm      | Helmer, Georgia            |
|     1 | Wu,       | Wu, June                   |
+-------+-----------+----------------------------+
15 rows in set (0.01 sec)

It’s still not perfect, though. You can see that Kent Bell was once listed as Kent Ball, Wendy Haas was Wendy Hass twice, and June Hwu was once listed as June Wu. If we manually adjust the list, we come up with this:

+-------+-----------+----------------------------+
| total | shortname | entity_name                |
+-------+-----------+----------------------------+
|  3415 | Bell      | Bell, Kent                 |
|  1902 | Para      | Para, Annette H            |
|  1167 | Grun      | Grunberg, Anne Marie       |
|  1093 | McCo      | McCormick Ewoldt, Susan    |
|  1063 | Hwu,      | Hwu, June                  |
|   853 | Haas      | Haas, Wendy C.             |
|   196 | Lock      | Locker, Howard J.          |
|    68 | Camp      | Campell, Bruce R.          |
|     9 | Krus      | Kruse, David H             |
|     2 | Kraw      | Krawczewicz Myers, Louanne |
|     1 | Helm      | Helmer, Georgia            |
+-------+-----------+----------------------------+
11 rows in set (0.01 sec)

Kent Bell has granted a whopping 34.9% of plant patents in the past decade, followed by 19.4% by Annette H. Para, followed by roughly 11% each for Anne Marie Grunberg, Susan McCormick Ewoldy, and June Hwu. Wendy Haas rounds out the top six with 8.7% of plant patent grants.

There aren’t nearly as many examiners as we expected, and they’re busy. They don’t only handle plant patents, either.

So, there you go! Those are the primary plant patent examiners at the USPTO over the past ten years. Now we need to edit our database upload scripts to consolidate the names automatically.

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