The chart above shows the percentage of patent applications published with more than twenty claims, grouped by publication date. I use the twenty-claim threshold because patent applicants are required to pay a surcharge to the USPTO for each claim over that limit.
As the chart shows, the percentage of applications with more than twenty claims has been declining for much of the past decade. This change is even more dramatic when looking at applications with forty or more claims.
Of course, if the percentage of high-claim applications is decreasing, the percentage of mid– or low-claim applications must show some increases. The chart below presents a time series showing the percentage of patent applications with fifteen-to-twenty claims.