28 thoughts on “Patent Grant Update

  1. Fits with my post of April 19, at 5:58 PM.

    (of course, the reason for the back-ups may be different between the two time periods…)

  2. From the PTO website:

    The PTO received 240,090 utility, plant and reissue (UPR) applications in FY 1998. Increases in the number of applications in communications and information processing technologies led the 9 percent growth from last year. We issued 140,574 patents, a 25 percent increase over FY 1997. Some of this increase was the result of a successful effort to reduce the backlog in the publications area.

    For FY 1999, we expect UPR applications to increase another 8 percent to around 259,000, with the high technology areas leading this growth once again. We expect another large increase in the number of patents issued in FY 1999, partly as a result of a one-time process change which provides for parallel processing of allowed applications.

    It appears that a big part of that extraordinary jump is due to changes in PTO procedures. There were large year-on-year increases in filings, as well, but it appears that the PTO had gotten backed up prior to 1998. Part of what we’re seeing now is a similar thing.

  3. I don’t know why the PTO issued the patent in 1993, but State Street Bank certainly opened the PTO floodagate.

    Based upon what evidence? If State Street opened the floodgates, then you would have seen it 2 or 3 years after the decision (i.e., how long it takes to prosecute a patent application). Of course, that only assumes that the applications were lined up and ready to be filed based upon that decision. However, the jump happened in 1998, much too early to be affected by State Street.

    It must be nice working with your own set of facts divorced from reality — it certainly makes arguing your points easier.

  4. You do realize that that the USPTO granted the “State Street patent” in 1993? The USPTO didn’t need the State Street decision to grant patents directed to that subject matter well before 1998.

    Moreover, if people were relying upon the State Street decision prior to filing, you would have seen the jump in 2000/2001 … not 1998.

    Better trolling please.

  5. Not really, considering that even Moore’s Law will stop at the atomic level. At that point, further advances will require quantum computing.

  6. Does the projection take into account the real, not projected, USPTO budget cuts noted in the thread below?

  7. Ned – wrong, pure and simple.

    Try a regression analysis and account for periods of valid patent suppression by the Office: there is almost a perfectly constant line extending back well before State Street.

    Your witch hunt needs to rest.

  8. I’ve become quite nimble by dodging pieces of blue sky.

    Plus, responses to repeat mantras have been catalouged. This was necessary as the valid points raised never seem to be answered.

  9. While I recognize that people in the past have speculated that they would see the end of new patents in their lifetime, it doesn’t seem logical to me that there are enough things to invent (at least worth paying for a patent on) to continue an upward trend indefinitely. Even if there are an infinite number of useful inventions to make, it seems to me that it would get harder over time to conceive of them, and therefore the rate of patenting would go down. Our species could be around for tens of thousands of years yet.

    So you disagree?

  10. ” I doubt that the number of inventions that people make per year will rise”

    Why do you doubt it?

  11. I’m curious when the rate of patent grants will start to fall. I doubt that the number of inventions that people make per year will rise forever, and at some point must hit a peak (assuming the patent office isn’t accidentally granting a substantial number of patents for ideas that already exist). But when? 2020? 2050? 2500? I wonder if there’s a way to predict this peak.

  12. What would be interesting is for someone to characterize the jump in grants in 1998, or filings in 1995, in terms of subject matter. Is this jump primarily based on electronic communication equipment, electronic services (Internet-business method-$%^#)?

    The increase is certainly not due to the pharmaceutical industry!!

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