Milestones: Patent No. 11,000,000

The USPTO recently issued U.S. patent No 10,999,961.  That means the old odometer is about to roll over.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., we can expect Patent No. 11,000,000.

53 thoughts on “Milestones: Patent No. 11,000,000

  1. 10

    I think the last bar should be the same size as the second to the last bar as both are 3 years.

      1. 10.1.1

        Well why is the last bar smaller when the number of years is the same as the second to the last bar?

        Seems like the graph is wrong.


          meh – he might be using a ‘decimal’ year value as opposed to an ordinal year value (think 3.25 years or 39 months v. 3.5 years or 42 months) would both fall under the ordinal “3” but would not graph out to the same height.

          My ‘dig’ on steady state was more in line with your post here that it will take a like number of years, versus your past admonitions about the bottom dropping out – which would greatly increase the number of years to reach the next milestone.


            Yes but my “bottom dropping” out did not include the Chinses pumping our system and probably did not account for Trump who strengthened the system quite a bit.

            We are still falling in patents from US inventors and not even growing to keep up with GDP. I would guess that if Biden trashes patents to the level of Obama that we will get the bottom falling out.


              I can a bit of the “China pumping” (hence my parallel calls to account for Big Corp who often act internationally and thus are not beholden to any Sovereign), but the only Trump effect that I can see was Dir. Iancu. Did you have more than that in mind?


              Also – even though there are plenty of Ostriches, Biden may well already be doing a number on certain art fields.

              And 6 (not sure the level of his seriousness) even sees that Biden should do MORE from an “Equity” standpoint and divert partial ownership to those historically oppressed.


                … as if “take from those according to their abilities and give to those according to their needs” as ever worked out for any nation….

                (I do not include China in that group, as they long ago left behind the facade of such things and instead is an oligarchy)

    1. 9.1

      Never, Max, because . . . everything that can be invented will surely have been invented before than.


  2. 8

    The best move for the PTO is to issue this milestone patent to a minority female inventor to demonstrate that patents are indeed available to all who meet the requirements.

  3. 7

    Everything that can be invented . . . thanks to the CAFC’s misapplication of Mayo / Alice . . . can no longer be patent-protected.

    No. Longer.

    1. 7.1

      The only coherent way I can read your post is that you’re implying that the inventors of the 2*10e6 patents issued in the last 6 years are all frauds who didn’t invent anything (assuming everything that can be invented can not be patented, if there are patents they must not be for inventions).

  4. 6

    You can be sure that US 11,000,000 will issue to a hand-picked U.S. company or inventor even if it should have issued to a foreign company or inventor according to the normal sequence in which patent numbers in a weekly issue are assigned.

    1. 6.1

      Dear USPTO, you gave US 10,000,000 to the defense industry (Raytheon). That’s boring.

      This go round, you want to choose something flashier and sexier: biotech. Might I (not at all impartially) suggest an exciting, small, immunotherapy startup from SoCal with an impressive suite of new cancer therapies, and even some anti-COVID technologies

      We have many upcoming grants. We would be honored to have any one of them issue as 11,000,000.

  5. 5

    For those of us who started our careers in patent law when patents were in the 3 million series, this is a mind-blowing number. It means that 8/11 or 73% of new and patented technology occurred during one lifetime of patent attorneys.

    1. 5.1

      Indeed. It is quite an impressive state of affairs. Just think about the benefits that will accrue to our kids and grandkids if this trend continues.

      1. 5.1.1

        Or this represents a dystopian trend that increases the commodification of knowledge to be leveraged against those for whom the “inventor” was actually not the source of innovation in a greater and greater cacophony of rent seeking.


          Thanks, OSitA. Usually I get accused around these parts of being “anti-patent” (whatever that means), but standing next to you—holding that “down with the capitalist oppressors” placard—makes me look good by comparison.


            Your boos mean nothing, I’ve seen what makes you cheer.

            j/k… I am glad I can help out.


          Because innovation is “dystopian,” and ALL those seeking to protect their innovations are “rent seekers”….


            I am not saying that all invention is dystopian or that all innovators are rent seekers. However, our current system is not set up to adequately reward proper innovators and weed out mere rent seekers that, with their sophisticated contrivances, can get patents issued that they do no deserve.

            We seem to loose sight that patents are a limited monopoly to promote innovation by giving the inventor a chance to recoup the investment undertaken to develop the invention such that others cannot get a free ride. I think we need to examine our current patent regime and address whether it aligns with this goal. In a lot of cases “no” because inventors are being squeezed out of the system. In a lot of cases “no” because “inventions” are being patented that do no align with the goals of a patent system.

            You don’t have to be a commie to critique late stage captured capitalism where rent-seeking is the preferred method of wealth accumulation instead of good old fashioned hard work.


              You seem to not recognize the difference between reality and your feelings.

              our current system is not set up to adequately reward proper innovators and weed out mere rent seekers that, with their sophisticated contrivances, can get patents issued that they do no[t] deserve.

              Your view of the negative nature of patents being tied to positive action is simply legally incorrect.

              Sure, that is ONE of the rationales.

              I am curious though on how you think “inventors are being squeezed out.”

  6. 4

    How about an overlay with GDP size?

    And–most importantly–the number of patents that are granted for inventions made in the USA.

    The Chinese have made up for the decrease in patent applications.


    1. 4.1

      The Chinese have made up for the decrease in patent applications.

      And thank heavens for that. Innovation builds on innovation. If the Chinese join in the innovation race, that makes all of us better off.

      1. 4.1.1

        Stop that. You know my point is not that we don’t want innovation from the Chinese but that the applications in the USA are falling not rising.

        We want innovation to increase in the USA not decrease and the rise of Chinese innovation is masking the decrease.

        Now stop doing things like that.


          Sorry for the misunderstanding. I never meant to imply that you do not want to see innovation from China. I was merely remarking that it is a good thing that we are seeing an increase in innovation from China.

          It is hard to know whether we are seeing a decrease in innovation from the U.S., or merely a decrease in patents applications from the U.S. These are not the same thing. The numbers we are seeing are equally amenable to either of those hypotheses, so it is a bit premature to complain of a decline in American innovation. There may be no such decline.



            There is NO misunderstanding to be apologizing for – it is well understood what your comment indicates, and the you hew to a “GLOBAL” more innovation is better.

            That of course is true enough – but that ALSO obfuscates the direct point at hand — and the reason why Night Writer wishes to draw attention to a better breakdown in the US filing and grant numbers.

            It is rather disingenuous of you to offer an apology for a NON-misunderstanding while you continue to obfuscate on the actual point intended by the comment.

            One may well be RUDE even as one appears to be polite.

            This is one form of such rudeness.


            Greg, OK.

            I guess you are right that I should say patent applications and not innovation.


            Incidentally—as I am sure that I do not need to explain to you, Night Writer—if we want to accelerate US innovation, the most important thing we can do is make our immigration laws more accommodating to the many talented and entrepreneurial individuals around the world who want to come here (including some who want to come with families in tow). There is no better favor we could do for the CCP than close our borders and refuse entry to the talented folks who would like to do their inventing in U.S. labs, U.S. factories, and U.S. offices.


              Absolutely Greg.

              If you listen to what other countries say about us, then you understand. They complain bitterly of the USA stealing their people that they invested in.


            Talk about stepping on a rake….

            I was merely remarking that it is a good thing that we are seeing an increase in innovation from China

            So…. for Greg, the increase in patent application filing IS an increase in innovation (when the country being referred to is China), but that relationship between filing and innovation cannot apply when the country being referred to is the US.

            And AAA JJ celebrates this?

      2. 4.1.2

        “If the Chinese join in the innovation race, that makes all of us better off.”

        Gulp. Just gulp.

  7. 3

    What I would like to see is an overlay of this chart to % of decisions (including Rule 36) by the Federal Circuit that uphold the validity of a patent.

  8. 2

    Presumably this headline relates to the examiner hiring headline a few threads below.

  9. 1

    The asymptotic rate limit is not a limit of innovation, but rather is a limit of processing of innovation.

    1. 1.1

      Any chance we could overlay this graph with an examiner employee count during the corresponding years?


          A certain sign that Alice killed patents. Exactly what one would expect to see.
          Don’t confuse issued patents with valid patents.

          Moreover, the difference between issued and valid patents becomes less important the bigger the entity. E.g., when you have 2 patents whether they are valid or not is far more important than if you have 20,000 patents. If you have 20,000 patents, having 5,000 of them invalid (e.g., for 101) isn’t going to significantly impact their overall value to the business. Why? 2 patents are far more likely to be challenged by a competitor/infringer than 5,000.


          While Wandering through’s points are excellent ones (and indeed accurate), Marty’s quip sounds a lot like Greg’s quip of the other day — and suffers for the same type of near-sightedness.

          Those of us in the trenches have been active in fighting back DESPITE Alice.

          It is one of things that actually makes the recriminations of the Supreme Court laughable – they have their idea of a war against “scriviners” (all the while THEY are guilty of scrivining and writing law from the bench), and yet, we “scriviners” are simply far better at scrivining than they.


          You are not a patent professional, Martin, so you are not obliged to wear the blinders that prevent most around here from noticing such obvious realities. As Upton Sinclair famously observed, however, “[i]t is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Most folks about these parts would sooner gouge out an eye than take notice of your rather obvious observation.


            ^^^ and this is a result of Greg’s willful obfuscation of Night Writer’s point above.

            Denigrating practitioners and inflating Marty’s non-patent law ‘observations’ while ignoring a comment (by Night Writer) geared to place things in perspective.

            With ‘friends’ like this….


            Your thoughtful engagement with Dunning and backhanded skewering of Kruger is a delight. Keep up the great work you’re doing.


              What a dunce — you do know that Greg expressly refuses to engage with me (I hurt his feelings) – so your attempted putdown flounders badly, eh?

              “Keep up the great work.”


              We here at Greg DeLassus enterprises are all about fan service. I am glad to hear that the share of the market that we have set out to serve as our target audience appreciate the product that we are putting out there. 😉

              Of course, it helps that Kruger the straight man is endlessly willing to step promptly on every rake that I lay out on the ground for the sake of a gag. I swear that this is merely predictable, not coordinated.


                The utter predictability of it doesn’t make it any less funny. It’s amazing.

      1. 1.2.2

        Can we take it below zero?

        A rather odd request – one would hope that the rate of innovation would be ever increasing.

        Are you of the Charles H. Duell camp?

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