Woops: Fixing an error in my prior chart on patent grants

A few days ago I posted a chart showing the number of patents granted per year.  That chart had a major error.  I had inadvertently included data from all issued patents (utility + design + plant + reissue) for the pre-2020 bars, but the 2020 forecast only included utility patents.  This made the current year forecast appear small in comparison. Sorry for temporarily leading folks astray.

Please find a corrected chart below (with 1-additional week of data). The chart still shows a forecast of 2020 ending behind 2019 in terms of sheer numbers, but only slightly.  After my post, folks at the PTO also told me that examiners have been working full steam through the COVID pandemic.

10 thoughts on “Woops: Fixing an error in my prior chart on patent grants

  1. 3

    Interesting article on Gene’s Blog about a seriously funded program to defend open source suppliers and users from PAE asserted patents, with licensing or providing prior art for IPRs or against issuance:
    “Limiting the Impact of Patent Assertion Entities on the Open Source Community
    By Keith Bergelt on Jul 14, 2020”

    1. 3.1

      Tripe with out-dated tropes.

  2. 2

    Weird to think that the top 10 law firms account for about 10% of the patent grants.

    1. 2.1

      Only 10%…?

      That is weird. I would expect much, much higher given the quantities of the bulk filers.

  3. 1

    “After my post, folks at the PTO also told me that examiners have been working full steam through the COVID pandemic.”

    It’s possible that action throughput could have increased a bit: counts from abandonments/RCEs have effectively been on pause due to the CARES act, and that temporarily lost production credit will have to be made up somehow.

    1. 1.1

      Why would counts from abandonments and RCEs be any different than any other prosecution? Are you really seeing a large number of the special “I have been affected by COVID” assertions?

      I ask because we have not processed a single one of those assertions.

      1. 1.1.1

        I have personally seen no “I have been affected by Covid” assertions in any applications I’ve examined.


          Likewise, but aren’t we supposed to wait until the end of the maximum possible extension to abandon anything during this period? In other words, are you abandoning cases which could be extended under CARES because there is no assertion?


            but aren’t we supposed to…

            I hope that that was a rhetorical question (and hope that you know what you are supposed to be doing in regards to CARES).

            Based on your comments here, though, I am left wondering.

    2. 1.2

      This matches what I am seeing in my dockets. I have received new office actions in 2-4 weeks after I file a Response. Truly compact prosecution, with both the Examiner and the Attorney turning around prosecution while the issues are still fresh in our mind. In the past 4 months, it is the one week forced delay from AIR to get an Examiner Interview that is slowing down resolution on patent prosecution.

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