USPTO Patent Grant Numbers

PatentlyO073

The count of patents granted each week continues to remain at an all-time-high. If the trend continues for the last three months of the year, the USPTO will likely issue more than 220,000 utility patents for the year — 50,000 more than in 2009.  Of the top-ten highest historic grant-weeks, all ten came from this summer (June – August 2010).

The following chart shows the historic patent grants per year. The figure for 2010 is forecasted based on data available as of August 18, 2010.

PatentlyO074

37 thoughts on “USPTO Patent Grant Numbers

  1. Dennis, anywhere I can get an approximate ratio over the time period embraced by your graphs?

    Reply
  2. Michael – Although I don’t have the exact numbers, I do know that there is an increase in both the # of allowances and # of rejections.

    Dennis

    Reply
  3. What seems to be missing is the number of applications that have been rejected as compared to the number that have been allowed.

    Right now there is at least on rabidly anti-patent website using the top chart to decry that the patent office is back to its old ways and issues “bad” patents as if they are candy. Once can only traverse such “tunnel vision” comments with the number of rejections over the same period.

    Does anybody have such a number to debunk articles such as the one I just read elsewhere?

    Reply
  4. “7,126,691

    1. Communications apparatus comprising: A) means for generating pairs of particles that are quantum mechanically entangled with respect to a quantum state variable, said particle pairs being arranged as a first beam of particles and a second beam of particles, where every particle in said first beam of particles has its quantum entangled counterpart in said second beam of particles (and vice versa), B) a receiver comprising 1) means for separating the particles in said first beam of particles into a third beam of particles and a fourth beam of particles according to the value of said quantum mechanical state variable, 2) means for recombining said third and fourth beam of particles in such a manner as to generate quantum interference, and 3) means for detecting the presence or absence of quantum interference in said recombining means, and C) a transmitter comprising 1) means for separating the particles in said second beam of particles that is capable of separating the particles either according to the value of said quantum state variable or according to the value of the quantum state variable that is orthogonal to said quantum state variable, the mode of separation being selectable at the time when the invention is in operation, 2) means for selecting said mode of separation of said separating means, and 3) means for absorbing the particles emitted by said separating means.”

    LMAO. Heads should roll for that one. Might as well allow claims directed to a perpetual motion machine.

    Reply
  5. Neither here nor there, but thought it worth mentioning

    Ya thought wrong.

    Reply
  6. Neither here nor there, but thought it worth mentioning that US Patent No. 7,777,777 issued on Tuesday to Bowman et al. “System and method for active call monitoring.”

    Good luck with that one. ;)

    Reply
  7. If you have nothing but weak arguments and since you’ve already done a proper search, the application should have been allowed anyway. How could this be any different than what was happening in the past?

    Simple – ya define quality as reject-reject-reject; and put in place a gestapo second set of eyes (or quality group – iza can’t remember which) that punish allowances and winks at crrp rejections.

    Kudos to Ned who pointed out that the data on Allowance percentages actually shows a return to historical averages. This begs for a graph to compliment the one above: Comparing 2009 and 2010 patent rejections – howza bout it big D?

    And as long as we be making pretty pictures, let’s throw some three sigma lines on that there historical allowance percentage graph. That Dufas drop down to 40% oughta stand out loud and clear.

    Malcolm – here’s an idea – get with Professor Lemley and write a paper about how these examiners simply are not doing their job and allowing such crrp. Ima sure that you have already done more research than that last paper.

    Reply
  8. 7,126,691

    1. Communications apparatus comprising: A) means for generating pairs of particles that are quantum mechanically entangled with respect to a quantum state variable, said particle pairs being arranged as a first beam of particles and a second beam of particles, where every particle in said first beam of particles has its quantum entangled counterpart in said second beam of particles (and vice versa), B) a receiver comprising 1) means for separating the particles in said first beam of particles into a third beam of particles and a fourth beam of particles according to the value of said quantum mechanical state variable, 2) means for recombining said third and fourth beam of particles in such a manner as to generate quantum interference, and 3) means for detecting the presence or absence of quantum interference in said recombining means, and C) a transmitter comprising 1) means for separating the particles in said second beam of particles that is capable of separating the particles either according to the value of said quantum state variable or according to the value of the quantum state variable that is orthogonal to said quantum state variable, the mode of separation being selectable at the time when the invention is in operation, 2) means for selecting said mode of separation of said separating means, and 3) means for absorbing the particles emitted by said separating means.

    It’s physically impossible. The inventor said he filed it as an experiment to show how broken the patent system is, but against his expectation, it got allowed. Heck of a job, Dudas!

    Reply
  9. 7,775,443

    1. A portable data storage device comprising:
    (a) a housing shaped as a wedge to facilitate packaging of the portable data storage device into an object having a shape of a ring;
    (b) a non-volatile memory, within said housing, for storing digital information; and
    (c) an electrical connector for connecting said non-volatile memory to a host.

    Fascinating. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the first “housing shaped as a wedge” in the history of consumer products.

    Reply
  10. Ah yes, the ever-popular “YOUR ADVERTISEMENT HERE” invention.

    7,775,440

    1. A method of displaying an advertisement to a user via user interaction with a printed substrate, said substrate comprising user information and coded data enabling the user interaction, said method comprising:

    (a) a user performing the user interaction with the substrate using a sensing device, said sensing device reading at least some of the coded data when operatively positioned or moved relative to the substrate and generating interaction data using the read coded data, said interaction data being indicative of the user interaction; and

    (b) said user interaction causing a first resource to be displayed on a display device, said first resource being a blended resource comprising at least one advertisement and content corresponding to said user interaction,
    wherein said at least one advertisement is selected, at least partially, using a first context associated with a zone of said user interaction on said printed substrate.

    Claims priority almost back to the dawn of civilization itself, i.e., 2007, long before anyone realized that it was per se obvious to “enhance” a pre-existing composition or method by including a generic advertising component.

    Oops, what am I saying? In fact, I am apparently the first human in history to recognize this fact. At least, this appears to be the USPTO’s understanding of human history.

    Heckuva job, Kappos!

    Reply
  11. 7,775,429

    1. A method for controlling access to an enclosed area, the method comprising:

    receiving a card identification signal including a card identifier (ID) in an access card reader and controller associated with an entrance to the enclosed area, the access card reader and controller being powered via a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) interface;

    determining an operational mode of the access card reader and controller, the operational modes including a standalone mode and a network mode;

    authenticating the card ID by transmitting the card ID to an access control server when the access card reader and controller is determined to be operating in the network mode;

    authenticating the card ID against entries of one or more internal tables stored in the access card reader and controller when the access card reader and controller is determined to be operating in the standalone mode;

    and sending a signal to unlock a door at the entrance to the enclosed area associated with the access card reader and controller when the card ID has been successfully authenticated;

    wherein the access card reader and controller serves, from the access card reader and controller to a Web browser external to the access card reader and controller, one or more Web pages by which a user can configure the access card reader and controller.

    B-b-but our electronic card access system uses teh Intern-n-net!!! This was filed way way back in 2006 when you had to whisper a secret password to a guard if you wanted to get through a locked door. It’s really amazing far we’ve progressed since then.

    Reply
  12. LOL

    20080270152

    Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party

    Reply
  13. Non sequitur of tha day award:

    Hardly a non-sequitur, ping. Took me five minutes to find those turkeys from this past Tuesday’s gazette, and this is stuff outside of my “expertise.” I imagine someone more familiar with the various technologies can find plenty more just as quickly.

    On what planet could those claims be considered to have been “examined” in any reasonable fashion?

    Reply
  14. “unless there is a solid case already on the record the case is easily allowed, that is, they’re unlikely to demand more searching.”

    Were you rejecting claims on weak cases previously?

    Also, what else do you need to search? As stated in the first line of MPEP 904, “[t]he examiner, after having obtained a thorough understanding of the invention disclosed and claimed in the nonprovisional application, then searches the prior art.” Also, “[t]he first search should be such that the examiner need not ordinarily make a second search of the prior art, unless necessitated by amendments to the claims by the applicant in the first reply, except to check to determine whether any reference which would appear to be substantially more pertinent than the prior art cited in the first Office action has become available subsequent to the initial prior art search.”

    If you have nothing but weak arguments and since you’ve already done a proper search, the application should have been allowed anyway. How could this be any different than what was happening in the past?

    Reply
  15. You tards, I predicted this a year ago, and it has nothing to do with the new director. It has to do with $$$. There’s nothing mysterious about it, there’s nothing that has to do with upper management “liking” allowing patents or treating them any different than the last administration did. SPEs are all just aware we need $$$ so unless there is a solid case already on the record the case is easily allowed, that is, they’re unlikely to demand more searching.

    Reply
  16. Non sequitur of tha day award:

    You guessed it – Malcolm Mooney.

    Come on up Sunshine, grab your prize.

    Reply
  17. they used to have that wall of shame “patent of the week” in the crystal city undergound. won’t work with the new site since the public can’t access the mole people tunnels.

    Reply
  18. If that thing has feet like an elephant bird, a tail like an elephant bird, a beak like an elephant bird and ears like an elephant then….by gad….it IS an elephant bird.

    Who first said that, I wonder. And when. Well before 2007, I bet. But surely not in any prior published US patent specification.

    Reply
  19. The second chart show we are back on the historical grant rate given the increase in patent applications. The recent downtrend in grants was clearly abnormal.

    Reply
  20. 7,779,440

    1. A method for providing access to content with an interactive program guide, comprising:

    identifying, using control circuitry, a media type of a currently viewed channel;

    designating, using control circuitry, the media type as a preferred media type, wherein the media type is associated with one or more channels;

    allowing a user to designate at least one favorite channel for the preferred media type using an input device; and

    constraining navigation on a display device to only favorite channels of the preferred media type.

    This claims priority back to 1998. Truly visionary, the idea of using a powerful computer brain to customize one’s TV. Prior to that, it was nearly universally assumed that TV customization was beyond the control of mere computers. Until these inventors came along and destroyed those expectations with their brilliance. I bow down before them.

    Reply
  21. This is even better:

    7,777,747

    1. A method for assisting a user in identifying a bird observed in the field using a bird identification tool implemented on a handheld computing device having a display, comprising:

    displaying at least part of a bird that contains a plurality of selectable anatomical regions on the display of the handheld computing device;

    constructing a set of bird identification filter attributes based on user input to use in searching a bird identification database to determine which birds likely match the bird being observed in the field;

    when the user selects a given one of the plurality of selectable anatomical regions, displaying on-screen options on the display with which the user interacts to assign an appearance characteristic to the given anatomical region, wherein the given anatomical region with the assigned appearance characteristic forms one of the set of bird identification filter attributes;

    updating the displayed plurality of selectable anatomical regions when the given one of the selectable anatomical regions is selected to provide the user with a visual record of current bird identification filter attributes that have been selected;

    searching the bird identification database using the bird identification filter attributes;
    and
    presenting corresponding search results to the user on the display of the handheld computing device, wherein the search results contain images of birds that match the bird identification filter attributes.

    Substitute “thing” for “bird” and you’ll see the true genius behind this “invention.” Hello, PTO? Anybody home? Why is that Examiner’s head on his desk resting in a pool of drool?

    Reply
  22. 7,777,745

    1. A computer implemented method for rendering an edge effect for an object, comprising:

    obtaining an object in a computer-generated rendering comprised of vector geometry;

    creating interior geometry for a fill of the object;

    creating contour geometry for an outline stroke that covers an edge of the object;

    calculating a proximity to the edge of the object for each pixel of the object and each pixel of the contour geometry;

    and rendering an effect based on the proximities.

    This was filed way back in the dark ages of 2007, shortly after the first drawing by a human.

    Reply
  23. ping, on the “ignore” thread, you still haven’t replied to my question to you at 8.48am.

    And me, negative? Heaven forfend. Should we not all be happy, if there are ever more cases of ever greater complexity?

    As to “shoulders” I agree. As to “efficiency”, however, I will refrain from any answer, in the interests of efficiency in this thread, and of not upsetting you with another of my “negative” remarks.

    Reply
  24. A more effective point to be taken from this data, instead of “all-time high”, may be “largest increase in a one-year period” (although 97′-98′ and 05′-06′ have comparable increases). Using that more effective point, you could then jump to any conclusion you like, much like Lemley et al. did in their recent paper.

    Reply
  25. Max: How about the number of grants per year per Examiner?

    Might be more relevant to look at grants per count, to control somewhat for that complexity and zero in on the alleged “openly hostile” attitude of the PTO.

    Of course, you’d also have to mark on the graph certain landmark court decisions that were seen as highly influential to the examination process, as well as changes in PTO management.

    Reply
  26. Maxie,

    Your logic sucks. Things are always going to be ever more complicated – your logic would indicate that we would approach a rate of zero grants per Examiner.

    The thing ya not includin: standin on the shoulders. Weza get betterin handlin the more complicated stuff. Weza also get more efficient (anyone want to get me a chart of US efficiency ratings for the past century?)

    Geez – don’t be such a negative nelly.

    Reply
  27. How about the number of grants per year per Examiner? Is that going up too? As apps get ever more complicated, I would expect it, quite properly, to be going steadily downhill.

    Reply
  28. Let’s see, you go from upper management that treated patents as black magic, treated inventors as spawn of the devil, and spawned the likes of 6 to upper management that treats patents as the drivers of invention that they are, and you add in the huge backlog that the prior upper management generated, and it is easy to see why the dam broke.

    I know the likes of 6 and MM aren’t happy about it, but the days of the USPTO being openly hostile to patents and inventors is over (at least for now).

    Reply
  29. “Amazing. Still haven’t heard a satisfactory hypothesis for this from anybody….”

    Let’s have a look at the total number of examiners over the same range of years. There might be a correlation. Sub-charts could break it down further to include grade levels and expectation factors.

    As we can see from the second graph, the total number has been rising since about 1980, making “count of patents … at an all-time high” quite common. An “all-time high” appears to happen every other year.

    Reply
  30. Well now, PS – that would depend on the parameters of your “satisfaction” criteria, now wouldn’t it?

    Ya wanna share what those parameters be?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>