In 2011, the USPTO issued a record number of utility patents – just shy of 225,000 issued patents. My indicators are that the 2012 figure will be around 6–10% greater. On April 3, the USPTO issued 5,176 utility patents — once again a new record and fully 200 more than the previous record set in March of this year.
USPTO Director Dave Kappos took office in August of 2009. The record number of grants on a single day prior to that was 4,418 – set in 1999 under the leadership of Q. Todd Dickinson who heads the the AIPLA.