As he often does, Dennis Crouch has created a chart to help better understand the patent process. This one shows the average time between filing a patent application and receiving a first action on the merits (“FAOM”). Generally, this FAOM comes in the form of a non-final rejection. Very rarely is it an immediate notice of allowance; most of these occurrences are limited to design and plant patents. Professor Crouch notes that the average pendency from filing to issuance as a patent is about 3.5 years. That number represents a slight drop over the past few years since Director Kappos has taken the helm at the Patent Office, but the Office still has a backlog of 600,000 patent applications to work through. Most of the 3.5 years is consumed simply in waiting for the newly-filed patent application to rise from the bottom of the stack to receive examination.
Tag: patent pendency
The Patent Office has taken a number of steps in the last year or so toward transparency, approachability, and clarity. It recently released the Patent Dashboard, or “Data Visualization Center.” The Dashboard is a simple display of the average time it takes to get to various milestones in the patenting process. The data is clear to read, but gruesome to contemplate. As I previously noted, the typical amount of time between filing and receiving a first response from the Patent Office runs between 2 and 4 years; the Dashboard shows that it averages 35.4 months, or just under 3 years.
Some have criticized the Patent Office for admitting the horrible state the patent system is in. I think, however, that this Dashboard represents another progressive step. The PTO recently created the Inventor’s Eye, a newsletter for the inventor community. A number of months ago, it developed and then expanded the Green Tech Accelerated Pilot Program. Under the significant budgetary burdens that the PTO faces, these are real gains.
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- I'm Tom Galvani, a patent> and trademark lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona. I help inventors, entrepreneurs, and businesses develop and control their intellectual property. I host this site and the blog on it to give you an idea of the services I provide and to keep you updated on current developments and helpful information related to patents, trademarks, and copyright. Legal and Disclaimer
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