Monthly Archives

July 2023

McCoy Russell Woman Business Enterprise

Since 2019, McCoy Russell remains certified as a Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) in Oregon. The Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) confirms the firm continues to meet the state eligibility criteria as established in OAR 123-200-1000 – 2300. Continued certification is contingent upon annual reporting of personal and business income with a more thorough review of ongoing eligibility every third year.

This certification demonstrates our firm’s adherence to rigorous standards and signifies our commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion within the field of intellectual property law.

Justin Wagner, Associate to Watch

McCoy Russell congratulates Justin Wagner as he is once again recognized as an Associate To Watch for his work in Intellectual Property in this year’s Chambers USA. Justin’s continued inclusion reflects his experience and growing expertise in the field of intellectual property, “those who are listed are at the forefront of their generation”, notes Chambers.

Chambers USA rankings utilize in-depth market analysis and independent research, working with firms of all sizes. You may read more about their methodology at their site.

Justin leverages his enthusiasm and expertise, leading new conversations in Intellectual Property that encourage growth and development of patent prosecution for Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), Patent Professionals, and McCoy Russell clients alike.

Supporting SCORE and Nurturing Entrepreneurial Success

McCoy Russell, a leading law firm dedicated to fostering innovation, is proud to support the community through pro bono work. Attorney Doug Wells has been making a significant impact through his volunteer efforts for SCORE. This organization, committed to assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners, benefits from Doug’s expertise in intellectual property law and his passion for mentorship. Furthering McCoy Russell’s endeavors in contributing to the local innovation community.

Beyond his regular responsibilities, Doug believes in sharing his knowledge and experience with aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. This commitment led him to collaborate with SCORE, a non-profit organization providing a network of over 10,000 volunteers who contribute their expertise to entrepreneurs and small business owners offering free mentoring services, resources, and educational opportunities to entrepreneurs across the United States.

As a mentor, Doug closely works with SCORE businesses, offering guidance on intellectual property protection strategies and helping them navigate the legal landscape, enabling them to make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls. With his extensive experience in trademark and patent law, Doug uses his experience to guide businesses through the complexities of safeguarding their innovative ideas and creations.

McCoy Russell continues its involvement and support of the local innovation community. Through the firm’s ongoing partnership with SCORE, we strive to foster a culture of innovation and provide crucial legal support to entrepreneurs shaping the future. To learn more about SCORE and its mission, please visit their website at

McCoy Russell’s Inclusion in Chambers and Partners 2023

A leading women-owned boutique intellectual property law firm specializing in technology, McCoy Russell is thrilled to announce the firm’s inclusion along with three of its attorneys, Anna McCoy, John Russell, and Justin Wagner, in Chambers and Partners 2023 rankings.

Chambers and Partners is a globally respected legal guide that evaluates law firms and attorneys based on their expertise, client service, legal knowledge, and professional achievements. Comprising 30% of the patent attorneys recognized in this ranking, the inclusion of McCoy Russell and its patent attorneys in this prestigious publication is a testament to their exceptional skills and contributions in the field of intellectual property law.

“The technical aptitude of the partners and associates is exceptional and the uptake of complex and novel technology is seamless” notes feedback from Chambers.

McCoy Russell’s inclusion demonstrates the strength of the firm’s unique collaborative structure, training programs, and innovations in the field of intellectual property like its development of automation solutions in patent prosecution through Ironcrow AI. The firm practices its values by providing its clients with accuracy, timeliness, and substantive response.

The firm continues its recognition in quality and is honored to be recognized alongside other exceptional firms and attorneys in the field of Intellectual Property Law.

Larger Organizations Supporting Women Inventorship

As a women-owned intellectual property firm, McCoy Russell has been examining the participation of women as inventors and presenting on the gender and minority gap in inventorship, patent prosecution, and VC funding for women founders nationally and local in Portland. The firm not only brings to light the benefits of diverse teams and roadblocks in the patent system, but also shares remedies at the organizational level, investor level, and individual level, focusing on culture, support, and self-identity.

The firm has provided presentations and training to numerous groups and clients, dating back to 2019 just two years after the McCoy Russell’s inception. After 4 years of efforts, we are gaining traction and are pleased to see that our ideas have even reached Meta.

Ideas such as:

  • Developing a more uniform network of support for innovation teams.
  • Generating teams that include women within the innovation discussions and innovation directions (brainstorming) as a company focus and providing women leadership opportunities for women to participate and lead innovation discussions.
  • Fostering Idea Generation via brainstorming sessions or as Meta calls them “Invention Sessions” not only provides an organized discussion, but creates alternate forums for pre-input and discussion creating group and individual action items.
  • Meta’s conclusion of getting more people comfortable with the patent process aligns with the heart of McCoy Russell’s diversity aware training IP prosecution programs.

At McCoy Russell LLP, we know that innovation thrives when diverse approaches and philosophies are nurtured in the workplace.

As a longtime advocate for women inventorship, McCoy Russell hopes to see an uptick for women inventors as larger originations like Meta start to adopt practices to support women and other minorities at each stage of the innovation process.

If your organization would like to implement some of the ideas we provided and ideas used by Meta’s team, McCoy Russell is available to provide training, lead brainstorming, and support the innovation lifecycle.

Benefits of utilizing examiner statistics for intellectual property practitioners

By leveraging patent examiner statistics, patent professionals can gain valuable insights that enhance their patent prosecution strategies and increase the likelihood of successful outcomes. Examiner statistics allow practitioners to understand how specific examiners handle patent applications, and which actions are more (or less) effective at moving a case to allowance. This valuable data enables informed decision-making and empowers patent professionals, enabling them to optimize their approaches throughout the prosecution process.

As an example, take examiner Horning, whose examiner statistics are summarized in the dashboard below:

For examiner Horning, the allowance rate is 41.8% greater for applications in which an examiner interview is conducted. Specifically, applications in which no examiner interview were conducted have an average allowance rate of only 48.0%, whereas conducting one or more examiner interviews causes the allowance rate to jump to 89.9%. Contrastingly, the percentage of appeals in which examiner Horning has been reversed stands at 0%, indicating this examiner is particularly difficult to appeal successfully. One reasonable strategy based on this data would be to seek an interview with Examiner Horning as early as possible during prosecution, and only file an appeal if there are few other options, and your case for appeal is strong.

In addition to examiner statistics, statistics for USPTO art units, groups, and tech centers, provide patent professionals with insights into the broader trends within the patent office. By analyzing data on allowance rates, appeal outcomes, and patent application pendency at different organizational levels, patent professionals can gain a deeper understanding of the prevailing examination landscape within the USPTO. This information enables the patent professional to benchmark their cases, make informed decisions on filing strategies, and anticipate potential roadblocks during prosecution. When combined with an art unit predictor (such as the art unit predictor at, art unit statistics enable patent practitioners to make art unit specific preparations even before filing an application.

As an example, consider the situation where a draft application processed by an art unit predictor provides the following results:

A practitioner might want to consider the prosecution statistics of art unit 3729, since that is the art unit most likely to examine the application. The prosecution statistics dashboard for art unit 3729 (which is available at is shown below:

Overall, art unit 3729 promises fairly favorable prosecution outcomes, with a higher allowance rate than most other art units in the USPTO, and with a relatively small 1.34 Office Actions per application (which is less than 87% of other art units). However, about half of all applications examined within art unit 3729 receive a restriction requirement, which is a higher rate of restriction than 93% of other art units. Depending on the particularities of this application, and the client’s needs, it might be prudent to draft (or revise) the specification and/or claims of this application to be ready in the likely event of a restriction requirement.

As demonstrated by the above two examples, art unit and examiner statistics are a powerful advantage to informing not only prosecution strategies, but drafting strategies as well (when combined with an art unit predictor). These prosecution statistics are currently available to all at Learn more about the art unit predictor at

Congrats Jake Weatherly

McCoy Russell congratulates SheerID on CEO Jake Weatherly’s receipt of the prestigious Sam Blackman Award 2023, recognizing industry leadership in Oregon and SW Washington-based technology companies.

SheerID connects brands with consumer communities like students, teachers, military service members, and first responders while safeguarding customer data privacy. As privacy-friendly alternatives gain prominence, the value of “zero-party” data, where consumers voluntarily provide personal information to authenticate eligibility, rises. SheerID’s commitment to privacy-conscious practices and facilitating secure interactions between brands and consumers sets them apart, and we are proud to be their trusted advisors in shaping a responsible and customer-centric future.

McCoy Russell is proud to support SheerID’s innovative endeavors in protecting and leveraging their intellectual property assets throughout their remarkable journey.

The State of AI Use by the USPTO: Streamlining Patent Examination

In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, intellectual property (IP) protection is crucial for businesses and innovators. As the demand for patents continues to rise, it has become imperative for patent offices to explore innovative ways to streamline and enhance the examination process.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been at the forefront of adopting artificial intelligence (AI) tools to improve patent examination efficiency. In this article, we delve into the current initiatives taken by the USPTO to leverage AI in patent examination and discuss the potential implications for patent applicants.

AI Tools for Prior Art Search:

One of the key areas where AI has proven to be transformative is in the prior art search process. The USPTO has been actively exploring AI-driven technologies to improve the accuracy and efficiency of prior art searches conducted by patent examiners. By utilizing AI algorithms, the USPTO aims to enhance the identification and evaluation of relevant prior art, thereby reducing the time and effort required for conducting comprehensive searches.

A notable example of this initiative is the Collaborative Search Pilot Program introduced by the USPTO in partnership with international patent offices. The program utilizes AI-driven tools to analyze patent applications collectively, enabling examiners from different patent offices to collaborate and share search results. This collaborative approach not only expedites the prior art search process but also promotes knowledge sharing among patent offices, ultimately leading to higher quality patent examination.

AI-Assisted Rejections and Formatting Error Detection:

Apart from prior art search, the USPTO is also exploring AI tools to assist in patent rejections and formatting error detection. AI algorithms can help identify potential issues in patent applications, such as inconsistencies in claim language or formatting errors. By leveraging AI, the USPTO aims to provide timely feedback to applicants, reducing the back-and-forth communication between examiners and patent practitioners, and ultimately expediting the examination process.

The USPTO’s increasing reliance on AI tools for patent examination highlights the growing importance of incorporating AI in the patent drafting process. If the USPTO is utilizing AI to enhance search capabilities and identify potential issues, it becomes evident that patent applicants should also consider utilizing AI during the drafting stage. AI-powered tools can help identify relevant prior art, suggest improvements in claim language, and even evaluate patentability during the early stages of drafting, ultimately increasing the chances of obtaining stronger and more enforceable patents.

As the USPTO continues to explore and integrate AI tools into its patent examination process, patent applicants should recognize the potential benefits of leveraging AI during the drafting stage. The use of AI can enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and quality of patent applications. McCoy Russell’s software arm – Ironcrow AI delivers a broad range of solutions to streamline the patent prosecution process freeing up time for Attorneys and Patent Professionals to focus on harder aspects of prosecution.