The decision in Hyatt v. Lee (Fed. Cir. 2015) included a citation to a June 2013 letter submitted by then Acting Director Terry Rea to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter was submitted in a response to a Senate request for information regarding still pending patent applications filed pre-GATT.
Rea reported that 482 applications are still pending that were filed prior to June 8, 1995. That cutoff is important because those applications – if ever issued as patents – will be entitled to 17-year patent terms following the issue date. Applications filed since that date are given 20-year terms that begin counting at the application filing date.
The letter goes on to list the serial number, inventor, assignee, priority date, and other information for each of the 482 applications.
Leading the pack is Gilbert Hyatt with 399 applications pending. Runner-Up is Personalized Media Communications (John Harvey) company with 38 applications pending. The remaining ancient-application-owners are all smaller players with only one or two pending (as of 2013). These include UCB Pharma; Boeing; US Dept of HHS; Sanofi-Aventis; and US Smokeless Tobacco Company, as examples.
Although the letter does not so indicate, it is apparent to me that the data does not include applications kept from issuing due to secrecy orders. On example is recently issued U.S. Patent No. 9,057,604 that was filed as an application in 1989 but did not issue till 2015 because of a secrecy order by the U.S. Government. Since Rea’s letter, 30 of Harvey’s patents have issued. See link.