by Dennis Crouch
The following chart provides one look at USPTO historic patent grant rate for patent applications filed over the past 20 years. The chart groups together patent applications as of their filing-month and then simply reports the percentage patented, abandoned, and still-pending. The red-line in the chat excludes the still pending applications and thus reports the grant rate of disposed-of applications.
A few notes.
- There are many ways to calculate a patent grant rate. This one is perhaps the simplest in that I simply looked at the current status of each published utility application – serial number by serial number. I treated all utility applications equal, regardless of whether it was part of a larger patent family or whether it was subject to an RCE.
- Beware of recent grant rate data: In my model here, there are only two ways that a patent can escape from being still-pending: Either (1) the patent issues or (2) the applicant abandons the application. And, the former (disposals-by-patenting) typically take less time than the latter (disposals-by-abandoning). As the PTO begins examining a cohort of patent applications, it typically issues a number of first-action allowances, while most applicants hold on for at least a final rejection before abandoning. What all this means is that more-recent grant rate data can be skewed.