Continuing Patent Applications and Performance of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as of Fiscal Year 2017
Intellectual Property Institute, Research Paper No. 2018-01
20 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 19, 2018
This paper presents and analyzes data collected from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reports and a series of FOIA requests for the period from 1996 to 2017. This is the ninth in a succession of studies of the impact of continuing patent applications on USPTO's performance. The data and analyses is set forth in three parts — the number, types, and disposition of patent applications being examined by the USPTO (the USPTO’s “input”); the number of applications allowed and patents issued by the USPTO (the USPTO’s “output”); and the number of pending applications and the average pendency for an application (the “difference” or commonly referred to as the USPTO’s “backlog”).
Highlights of this update include the fact that Application Allowance Rates corrected for Refiled Continuing Applications have continued to increase, reaching 96% in FY 2017, approaching the record 99% in FY 2001. Consistent with the increase in Application Allowance Rates, the number of Applications Allowed (340,388) and Patents Issued (316,973) rose to record levels. The number of Abandoned Applications that were Refiled continued to increase to 197,581, double those that were Not Refiled. The number of Applications Allowed (340,388) was nearly three and one-half times the number of Applications Abandoned Without Refiling (98,991). UPR Application Backlogs declined slightly as a consequence of the increase in Application Allowances.
Keywords: Patent, USPTO, Application, Continuation, RCE, Backlog, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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