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As the screen is alive with the data on loop, a couple of observations/thoughts come across my mind.
1) The median moves nonetheless.
A slight play on recent comments concerning Galileo, but the most visible effect in seeing the snapshots spliced together is to show that there has been a very real effect on the median of the bolus of work that makes up the backlog in that efforts to at least move the median measure of the backlog have worked. Under prior priorities of the examining staff, the median had drifted out, and upon a tightening of that priority, the median has drifted back in.
alas, not much has changed
Noting that the shape and general size of the backlog has remains largely consistent even as the median has shifted tells me that the underlying structural drivers pretty much remain unchanged.
Examination – as a whole – is NOT getting better or more efficient.
The long ago comment about “merely moving deck chairs on the Titanic” remains as true as it was years ago as it is today.*** Since we should expect non-linear expansion of innovation – given that the promotion of innovation itself should be expected to provide MORE innovation, we are faced with the artificial limitation of Office Examination as a choke point. If patents are once again (properly) recognized as the benefits that they are (and are not artificially suppressed by the overall weakening and denigration of the patent right), the Patent Office will simply NOT be ready to do the job it needs to do.
We should be more actively promoting business methods, as such are the source of fuel that will sustain the industry of innovation, if this once great country recaptures its appreciation of the property rights of patents and the interplay between a strong patent system and vibrant and healthy ecosystem.
the tail wags, but not nearly as much as needed
As I indicate below in my comment to Paul, there can be seen SOME movement in the tail of the curve to the right, which signifies VERY aged receivables in the Office. Unlike Paul’s supposition that this “wagging” shows an effective treatment of those aged receivables, I would posit that while indeed some movement has been seen, the degree of movement does NOT signify an appreciable tackling of the problem of those aged receivables. Aside from one specific drop, that tail can be best characterized as “stagnant” year after year LONG after the “official” submarine period has passed.
*** I would surmise (but am willing to be pleasantly surprised otherwise) that the other “deck chairs” of pendency – RCE’s and Appeals – would likely move in counter to the direction of movement pictured here.
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Now I’m going to be distracted all day….
Just think of how mesmerized you might be with an orange curve set changing in similar time…
A similar one with orange would be nice.
…in my best Oliver Twist tones: please sir, may I have some more?
The significant drop in the “tail” of 96-120 months pendency in recent years is a favorable sign that the PTO is finally disposing of more “submarine” patent applications.
I do not think there has been a significant drop in that tail, Paul.
Yes, there has been a drop, and the speed of the slide show does make it a little difficult to note the years of particular occurrences (a “dwell” factor might help, or if that is not available, including a multiple such as 3 or 5 of the same slide for each instance might help).
I used a different trick to “slow down” the slide show and note that the “low point” of the tail is reflected in years 2005-2007**,
the height of that tale reaching a peak in 2010,
holding fairly steady there through 2014,
then dropping a notch in 2015, and
holding roughly steady at that new position through the current date.
That new position is substantially more than the 2005-2007 time zone, and that time zone should already be reflecting ANY true submarine items.
I note as well that there may be “artifacts” that the pictures may be reflecting an imperfect view of USPTO released data. There have been notable “jumps” in released data in the past where “all of sudden” the reported numbers changed significantly. For example, numbers reported for Appeal process had one of those alarming “edits” after a number of people started digging into the old “Appeal Rules Changes” that were abandoned by the Office (in the Tafas decision era).
**2005 marking the TEN YEAR anniversary of the end of the “true submarine era” – how reported numbers “Jump” at the 2007 mark, I leave to you.
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