Great topic for a law review comment on patent law

An eager law student with some statistics skills (you know who you are) needs to take-up the following project that will eventually result in a law review article.

Many people, including myself are concerned about delays at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.  While the Office has made great strides in recent years, many patentees are still faced with long periods of waiting for PTO action.  There is also a great variance between individual applications — making it difficult to manage client expectations and to plan for any business development based on an eventual issued patent.  While the table below provides some ways understand and overcome the variance problems, it not sufficient.  An analysis of PTO data is clearly needed to understand what factors affect time to first-action from the PTO. 

Potential factors that may be important to the amount of time that it takes the PTO to give its initial response include: technology area; continuation vs. non-continuation; examiner type (primary vs. secondary); number and complexity of claims; based on a foreign priority; based on a provisional application; length and complexity of the specification; small vs. large entity; etc. 

Let me know if you are interested in taking-up this topic.