Average Pendency of US Patent Applications

The chart above shows the average pendency of utility patent applications at the USPTO grouped by disposal date. The basic calculation compares the patent application actual filing date with the relevant issue date or abandonment date. For this chart, the filing of an RCE does not restart the clock. Although the chart appears to show significant movement, you should note that I set the axis base at three years.

14 thoughts on “Average Pendency of US Patent Applications

  1. 14

    Some RCEs sit around for 2+ years now. Any thoughts on how the average pendency will change going forward, considering that the RCE backlog has grown considerably? That is, perhaps the cases that have been issued or abandoned recently have had a shorter pendancy, but will the avg pendency increase as some of these old RCEs are examined? I wonder in particular what may happen should PTO management change the order or the rate at which RCEs are considered.

  2. 11

    When did Kappos institute the priority switch to reduce the very item measured and shown in the graph?

  3. 10

    What struck me is not the small range of the chart (i.e., that the y-axis starts at 3 years), but that almost all of the data is trending in one direction or the other. There is very little random noise.

    Now THAT’S unusual. It’s pretty much a very well determined system.

  4. 9

    This is still too long.

    — Small companies and individuals waiting for patent issuance so that they can get financing or start making major investment in manufacturing.

    — Potential competitors waiting for Patent Office determination before entering market.

  5. 7


    The “that” is what I quoted: the fact that the graph still looks quite significant to you.

    Not sure why you are having difficulty with my statement.

  6. 6

    Any chance you can split out grants from abandonments in separate plots? Maybe overlay a plot of the grant rate?

  7. 5

    Don’t bother trying to “follow” his inane and insane rantings. You’re wasting your time.

  8. 4

    What exactly is “not a good thing”?

    I know. You said. It is “that” that’s not a good thing.

    But what is “that”? The shape of the graph perhaps? Or that MaxDrei finds the shape “significant”.

    So, what’s not to like, about the shape or that I find it significant. As ever, I have difficulty following you.

  9. 2

    Well yes but regardless, it still looks quite significant to me. I wonder, for any other readers, if the base had been set at zero years, would any of the significance have been lost?

    Does this reversal of the trend accord with the personal or anecdotal experience of any coal face workers (inside the USPTO or in bulk prosecution firms like Oblon, BSKB or FHFB) who happen to be reading this blog?

  10. 1

    ” Although the chart appears to show significant movement, you should note that I set the axis base at three years. ”

    That was the FIRST thing I noted….

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