Timing of First Actions on the Merits

By Dennis Crouch

The chart below is a bit confusing, but I think that it presents some interesting data. The chart generally shows the timing of first actions on the merits (FAOMs). Most commonly a FAOM is either a non-final rejection or else a notice-of-allowance. The number of applications awaiting FAOM is typically referred to as the backlog of unexamined cases. The PTO has been focusing attention on reducing that backlog as well the timing from filing to FAOM. In addition to calculating the timing of FAOM, the PTO also offers a forward-looking prediction to applicants that estimates how long the wait will be. The chart shows both the average actual timing (red) and predicted timing (blue) of FAOMs. I can only report the predicted timing for recently filed applications (since we don't know how long it will actually take). By late 2015, we could see the backlog reduced to 12-months.

8 thoughts on “Timing of First Actions on the Merits

  1. 6

    Did I say “two” cases? No? I didn’t? Then what makes your ta rd brain think I did? I’ve had several cases now go out with less than 12 mo, and I could put even more out as nearly 1/2-1/4 of my docket is within 12 mo some down to like 9 mo.

  2. 5


    A whole two cases 6?

    I see that you are a proud graduate of the math-R-us and analysis school of Malcolm.

  3. 4

    Um I already have some cases that go out with less than 12 mo on their clocks. If the keep hiring in my art the way they have our backlog will be practically gone.

  4. 3

    By late 2015, we could see the backlog reduced to 12-months.

    Not a chance.


    (at least) two contributors: the AIA filing buble, and the new decision to place the deck chairs back on Decks R, C, and E.

  5. 1

    Recent improvements on time to FAOM have been at the expense of prompt examination of RCEs.

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