AIA Patents Update

The chart above should be no surprise. Most pending applications before the PTO are now post-AIA patent applications. These are applications that were filed on or after March 16, 2013 and don’t claim priority to any prior patent filing. Note here that the PTO does not appear to enter the final AIA-status for some new applications filed with missing parts and so the numbers for the recently published cases may shift somewhat. The bulk of U.S. patents issue within four years of their priority filing date. However, there is a fairly long-tail. The patent with the longest pedigree for 2020 (thus far) is US10539396 for a dual-mode seeking missile (using both IR and RF sensors to direct a missile. The patent application was kept confidential on Gov’t order from 1976 – 2018.

12 thoughts on “AIA Patents Update

  1. 2

    Dennis, eyeballing you chart it looks like about 95% of [recently?] published applications are now “applications that were filed on or after March 16, 2013 [and filed 18 months ago?] and don’t claim priority to any prior patent filing.” But how many other previously-published pre-AIA applications are still pending in addition to those roughly 5%? [Due to RCEs, continuations, belated divisionals, etc., or, non-publication requests in U.S.-only filings?] [The soggy “Crisper” interference mess shows that there are important pre-AIA applications still pending.]

  2. 1

    As requested several times, the PTO should disclose how many “submarine” patent applications are still pending. That is, applications filed so very long ago that they will issue with a 17 year patent term from their issue date. [That is far more of a U.S. industry concern than just being pre-AIA applications.] [I suspect the majority are Gilbert Hyatt’s?] Also, where the entire contents of such dangerous submarine applications have already been publicly disclosed in continuations, divisionals, CIPs or court filings, why should they not be publicly identified for status inquiries and prior art submissions? To prevent criticism of the PTO? Such extreme application processing delays [other than for secrecy orders] are inexcusable.

    1. 1.1

      That is, U.S. applications still pending that were filed before June 8, 1995 [a quarter century ago].

    2. 1.2

      I am with you on this — mostly.

      I can easily see the case for the Office to divulge de-personalized information such as quantity of applications and related filing date windows.

      You likely cross the line though with LEGAL restrictions if you want to know the specific entities, and even those items that because they are are still in prosecution, may NOT be open to the public for the public to ‘join in’ with prosecution (even if there is some level of ‘effective disclosure’ by way of published continuations, divisionals and the like).

      ‘Suspicion of Hyatt’ is certainly not a valid reason for abrogating restrictions passed by Congress. See “A Man for All Seasons.”

      1. 1.2.1

        The confidential status of unpublished patent applications is controlled by 35 USC 122, which contains a specific exception, among others, for “or in such special circumstances as may be determined by the Director.”


            That statute is clear that what are “special circumstances” is “as may be determined by the Director.”


                It clearly means the Director is authorized and empowered to define “special.”

                1. Difficult to see how any Director could be legally criticized for designating the few applications kept pending for more than a quarter century as “special” under this statute.

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