Patent Pendency Update

The chart above is made from the 5329 utility patents issued on September 4, 2012. More utility patents were issued on that day than any other day in U.S. history. As you can see from the chart, a substantial number of patents are issuing in less than two years. The median pendency (not counting priority claims) was just under 3 years and 4 months. Of the 410 design patents issued that same day, 44% issued within one year of filing and 92% within two years of filing.

14 thoughts on “Patent Pendency Update

  1. “business method”? Define that.

    It’s impossible for humans to do that. Or at least I read that somewhere. I think in the comments here.

  2. Would I remind you that the time in the applicant’s court is typically a small fraction of pendency, would that fact ruin your day?

  3. RCE’s are the applicant’s fault? Right, because examiners never make unreasonable rejections, then stick with them and final you when you argue…

  4. If you were told that the majority of time in pendency is spent when the ball is in the Applicants court or caused by Applicants (RCEs, Attorneys waiting 6 months to file responses, etc.), would you still constantly harp that it is the Office that is responsible?

  5. Indeed, especially if you filed on a “business method” and the PTO classified your application that way.

  6. The instant gratification of video games isn’t instant enough for the instant gratification generation. Gee, what a surprise.

  7. Roughly estimating that only 41% of the patents graned meet the guaranteed less than or equal to three years examination time period indicates a failure of the Office to live up to its promise in more than half this data set. Combine that with those applications not counted (that are still undergoing examination) and one has to wonder what is being done to correct this glaring failure.

    Throw in on top of that the double set of rules for the AIA and the Office needing to also staff for new post grant proceedings as well as endure learning curves in several new offices and one has to wonder when the situation will improve.

    Also given the fact that examination of design patents is typically perfunctory, one wonders why it takes more than a year for more than half of the dataset.

    A true cause-effect 5-why analysis should be done. Tools exist for fixing this type of process.

  8. Also, given my examiner told my attorney that “his group just isn’t granting patents” so I’ll “have to appeal”, I thought there may be some difference from one group to another – or may not.

  9. Is there any historic perspective? I’m not sure this is an improvement over the past.

    Also, is there anything broken down by field or type of technology? I have applications in enterprise software that have been pending for better than 10 years. They’re published and they’re stolen. It seems that if I tried to patent something important, like a golf club or a sex toy, it would go a lot faster.

  10. Dennis, it appears that a surprising number were still pending 8-11 years, in spite of PTO efforts in the past 3 years to address excessive pendency applications. Of course flushing out some of those may still be a contributing factor.
    Any idea if those long pendencies are due to multiple RCE’s,* appeal delays, excessively delayed PTO office actions, and/or some other reasons?

    *[By "not counting priority claims" I assume you mean only excluding divisionals, RCE's and traditional continuations?]

  11. Hey guys, I just made an inventionlol, I’m publishing here for you guys, dem publics.

    My invention is a vidya game. This vidya game comprises a game, or more specifically, an RPG, RTS or 4x game or a mashup thereof. Even more specifically, it is one of the above games which has no “title” or “intro” or “initial game mode/load selection screen” after you’ve played the game one times. Or, alternatively, it has none at all. You just go from start of the game, directly into gameplay. Or in another “embodiment” you start the first mission/level/”game” the very first time the game is played without any “title” or “intro” or “initial game mode/load” screen. Likewise, in yet another “embodiment” the game auto-loads your last saved game on startup with no “intro” “title” or “initial game mode/load selection screen”.

    Oh and also, a method of playing all those games, with many steps of “displaying” “receiving input” “outputting” and “on a compooter/portable compooter” etc tacked on to make things look tots patentable.

    Bottom line is, cut that fuing worthless waste of time screen out. Hopefully this is anticipated, or obvious, but whatevz, I really wish that games would do this.

    You guys can thank me when this inventionlol permeates the industry and you will know that you got it tots for free.

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