Patent Application Pendency (Timing from Priority Date)

In a prior post, I provided data on patent application pendency — looking at applications from their filing date to the issue date. The chart adds an additional perspective — also calculating the pendency beginning with the application priority date. Looking simply at filing-date to issue-date, average pendency is hovering just over three years. However, the average U.S. patent issues more than five years after its original priority application filing date. The chart below presents the information in the form of a histogram showing the distribution of pendency for patents issued thus far in 2014.

11 thoughts on “Patent Application Pendency (Timing from Priority Date)

    1. 3.1


      You do know that provisionals’ time only counts when a provisional is converted as opposed to those occasions in which a claim to priority is made, right?

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    Dennis, according to the current five-year plan for the patent office, one of the quality measures is “patent” quality. I don’t see the patent office actually providing any data on patent quality. Instead the data seems to be on patent application quality – and that is measured as compliance with rules and procedures, etc.

    As we all seem to recognize, the patent office continues to issue patents with indefinite and overbroad claims, and to business methods. Both these are problems somewhat independent of the issue of whether the patent office is issuing patents that are not really novel or nonobvious. If the patent office could simply increase the quality of the claims being issued, that would be a plus. Further if they would stop issuing business method patents, that too would be a plus.

    But how can one measure whether the claims are indefinite or overbroad, or whether they cover business methods? I really don’t have a clue.

    1. 2.1

      …and to business methods.

      Seriously Ned – are you still pursuing that crusade?

      I agree that you really don’t have a clue, given the preponderance of evidence and the stark fact that 4 is not 5.


          Yes, Ned’s post was a post of very poor quality, as was yours, Grumpy Cat.

          Wait, we went through this merry-go-round before

          (it did not turn out well for you that time either)

      1. 2.2.1

        Dennis, for business methods, determine whether claim 1 contains a financial term such as price, hedging, risk, contract, cost or the like.

        Also, include as questionable if claim 1 includes “computer-implemented” or “non transitory.”

        For functional, determine whether claim 1 includes in a single element the term “to” or “for” or “such that” without the term “means.” These are questionable. One would then have to look at the notice of allowance to determine whether the novelty lay in a function, property or result of that one element.


          Or just adopt – without question – and any basis in law – Ned’s crusades and simply forget what Congress actually did in 1952 (and the rationale for having 101 be an open gate).

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    Happy Memorial Day everyone.

    Thank you all Veterans and current Military Members and your Families. Without your great contributions and many sacrifices for our Country, America wouldn’t be America.

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