Continuing Patent Applications and Performance of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as of Fiscal Year 2018

Richmond School of Law Intellectual Property Institute Research Paper No. 2019-01

24 Pages Posted: 17 May 2019 Last revised: 22 May 2019

See all articles by Christopher Anthony Cotropia

Christopher Anthony Cotropia

University of Richmond - School of Law

Cecil D. Quillen, Jr.

University of Richmond School of Law

Date Written: May 20, 2019

Abstract

This study is the tenth in a succession of studies of the impact of continuing patent applications on USPTO performance. It presents and analyzes data from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Annual Reports and a from a series of FOIA requests for the period from 1973 through 2018 (1980 through 2018 for UPR Allowance Rates/Grant Rates, 1983 through 2018 for Abandoned Applications and Application Disposals).

Examination performance of the USPTO continued to decline in FY 2018 as UPR Application Allowance Rates/Grant Rates corrected for Refiled Continuing Applications reached a record 100%, exceeding the previous record 99% in FY 2001. The number of Applications Allowed (334,799) and Patents Issued (308,631) remained near record levels.

The number of Refiled Continuing Applications (274,629), which are reworked for the USPTO, approached the number of Original and Divisional Applications (323,129) and comprised 46% of the total number of applications filed in FY 2018. Abolition of Refiled Continuing Applications would eliminate this rework and increase the resources available for examination of Original and Divisional applications by as much as 85% without any increase in staff or budget.

The number of Abandoned Applications that were Refiled (185,880) was more than double the number of Abandoned Applications that were Not Refiled (90,297), and the number of Applications Allowed (334,799) was more than three and one-half times the number of Applications Abandoned Without Refiling (90,297). UPR Application Backlogs declined slightly.

Keywords: Patent, USPTO, Application, Continuation, RCE, Backlog, United States Patent

Suggested Citation

Cotropia, Christopher Anthony and Quillen, Jr., Cecil D., Continuing Patent Applications and Performance of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as of Fiscal Year 2018 (May 20, 2019). Richmond School of Law Intellectual Property Institute Research Paper No. 2019-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3381877 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3381877

Christopher Anthony Cotropia (Contact Author)

University of Richmond - School of Law ( email )

28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States

Cecil D. Quillen, Jr.

University of Richmond School of Law ( email )

28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States

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