Listing of Expected Patent Prosecution Delay

The PTO has begun reporting the “average filing date of applications receiving a first office action” broken down by technology center.  (Link).  I took those most recent numbers and calculated an average backlog in months.  The results are sorted below:

Tech Center

Tech Center Description

Average Backlog (Months)

1660 Plants           10
2900 Designs           13
3640 Aeronautics, agriculture, fishing, trapping, vermin destroying, plant and animal husbandry, weaponry, nuclear systems and licensing & review           14
2810 Static memory and digital logic           15
3740 Thermal and combustion technology, motive and fluid power systems           15
3610 Surface transportation           15
3670 Wells, earth boring/moving/working, excavating, mining, harvesters, bridges, roads, petroleum, closures, connections, and miscellaneous hardware           15
3630 Static structures, supports and furniture           16
2890 Semiconductor, Electrical, Optical Systems & Components           16
3680 Machine elements and power transmissions           16
2870/2880 Liquid crystals, optical elements, optical systems, fiber optics, lasers, electric lamps, registers, optics measuring and radiant energy           17
3750 Fluid handling and dispensing, and Textile Manufacturing and Apparel           17
2820 Semiconductors and electrical circuits           17
3720 Packages and containers, manufacturing devices and processes, machine tools and hand tools           17
3650 Material handling and article handling           17
3710 Amusement and education devices           17
1720 Fluid separation and agitation, metal foundry, welding, plastic molding apparatus, fuels and related compositions           18
1620 Organic chemistry           18
3660 Computerized vehicle controls and navigation, radio wave optical and acoustic wave communication           18
2850/2860 Photocopying, recorders, measuring and testing, printing           18
1750 Chemical products and processes, solar cells and sputtering apparatuses           19
1710 Synthetic resins           19
1770 Stock materials and miscellaneous articles           19
2830/2840 Power generation and distribution, music, electrical components and control circuits           20
1730 Glass and paper making, tobacco, non-metallic molding, adhesive bonding, tires and coating apparatus           22
3760 Body treatment, kinestherapy, and exercising           22
1650 Fermentation, microbiology, isolated and recombinant proteins/enzymes           23
1610 Organic compounds: bio-affecting, body treating, drug delivery, steroids, herbicides, pesticides, cosmetics, and drugs           23
1760 Food technology, petroleum processing, coating and etching           23
2670 Computer graphics           24
1740 Metallurgy, electrochemistry, cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing, analytical chemistry and wave energy           24
1630 Molecular biology, bioinformatics, nucleic acids, recombinant DNA and RNA, Gene regulation, gene therapy, nucleic acid amplification, animals and recombinant plants, combinatorial/computational chemistry.           26
2650 Dynamic information storage and retrieval           26
2680 Radio Telecommunications           26
2180 Computer architecture           27
1640 Immunology, receptor/ligands, cytokines, recombinant hormones, and molecular biology thereof           28
2630 Digital, optical, and general communications           30
2110 Computer architecture           30
2640 Audio, speech processing and wired telephone           30
2120 Miscellaneous computer applications           31
2160/2170 Graphical user interface, data bases           34
3620 Electronic Commerce           35
2190 Interprocess Communications & Software Development           36
2620 Image analysis,           37
2140/2150 Computer networks           38
2610 Television           39
2130 Cryptography, security           39
2660 Multiplex communication           40

Although this is unconfirmed, I believe that these numbers are somewhat skewed because they include continuing applications that generally have a shorter delay before receiving a first office action.  As such, the expected delay for a newly filed non-continuation may be greater than that listed. Nonetheless, the table is useful for providing a new applicant a better estimate of the expected timetable.


3 thoughts on “Listing of Expected Patent Prosecution Delay

  1. 3

    The legal effects of a “patent pending” mark

    Simply put, there is little! The backlogs in the Patent Office have been huge and long. Most utility patents take more than 2 years to issue. (Dennis Crouch posted in his blog site the average time it would

  2. 2

    The legal effects of a “patent pending” mark

         Simply put, there is none!     The backlogs in the Patent Office have been huge and long. Most utility patents take more than 2 years to issue. (Dennis Crouch posted in his blog site the average time it would take the Patent Office to respond to a pa

  3. 1

    phosita ::: quick links for 2005-07-22

    Listing of Expected Patent Prosecution Delay – Depending on your invention, this is the delay you can expect before you hear anything from the patent office. It ranges from 10 months for plants to 40 months for multiplex communication.S & M…

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