Category Archives: Statistics

Post Grant Outcomes Program Has Taken Off

Author: Hojung Cho, Ph.D.
Editor: Stephanie M. Sanders

During its most recent Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) meeting, the USPTO shared an update on the Post Grant Outcomes (PGO) Pilot program, which commenced in April of this year. As we previously reported, the PGO program was initiated to identify those patents being challenged at the PTAB that have pending related applications and provide the examiners of those pending related applications access to the prior art submitted with the post grant proceeding petition. The three stated objectives of the PGO are (1) enhanced patentability determinations in related child cases, (2) targeted examiner training, and (3) examining corps education. The USPTO has generally assessed that the PGO program has met its goal of shining a spotlight on highly relevant prior art uncovered in post grant proceedings and, thus, has enhanced the determination of patentability in related child cases.

As of July 2016, 678 child applications have been identified as meeting the program criteria. Here is the breakdown by technology center.


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‘Designed’ to Scale? Design Application Pendency Down Despite Increased Filings

Author: Justin N. Mullen
Editor: Elizabeth D. Ferrill

On May 5, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Patent Public Advisory Committee held their quarterly meeting at the USPTO’s Alexandria headquarters. Of a number of topics, the meeting included a patent operations update. Particularly, their slides (reproduced below) highlighted a few trends in design patent application filings.

5.13.16 Post Image   Continue reading

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Despite Increased Hiring, Design Patent Application Backlog Builds

Author: Robert C. MacKichan III
Editor: Stephanie M. Sanders

During the February 4, 2016 Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) Quarterly Meeting, the USPTO’s Patent Operations Update projected a record number of design patent application filings this fiscal year based on the 12,104 applications it has received since October 1. The projection of just under 40,000 design patent application filings for FY2016 would continue a five year run of year-over-year increases in filings, from less than 30,000 applications filed in FY2010.

Along with the increase in filings, the number of unexamined design patent applications has continued to rise. The Office reported 40,738 unexamined design applications as of December 31, 2015—approximately twice the inventory of unexamined applications at the end of FY2010. A similar trend was reported for First Office Action “pendency”—the average number of months from the design application filing date to the date a First Office Action is mailed. First Office Action pendency as of December 2015 was 13.7 months with a total average pendency of 20 months. As shown in the graphic below (taken from the Patent Operations Update slide deck), this is a significant increase from a total pendency around 13 months at the end of FY2011.

Design First Action Pendency and Total Pendency 2011-2016

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AIA First Inventor to File Statistics

Author: Rachael P. Dippold, Ph.D.
Editor: Amanda K. Murphy, Ph.D.

In the February installment of its Patent Quality Chats, the USPTO presented statistics on AIA First Inventor to File (FITF) applications. FITF applications are those applications that (1) were filed after March 15, 2013, without claiming priority to an application filed before March 16, 2013; or (2) is a “transition application.” A transition application is an application that claims priority to an application filed before March 16, 2013, but at some point contained a claim that has an effective filing date after March 15, 2013. As expected, the number of pending FITF applications has increased each year since March 16, 2013. However, the USPTO reports that First to Invent (FTI) applications still represent over half of the applications pending through November of the USPTO’s 2016 fiscal year.

Pending Applications

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Boardside Chat Hints at Forthcoming Relief for Appellant-Applicants

Author: Justin N. Mullen
Editor: Amanda K. Murphy, Ph.D.

On February 2, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted one of a series of Boardside Chats by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to discuss, among other topics, ex parte appeal pendency. While the current PTAB statistics dashboard (reproduced below) indicates that the majority of current ex parte appeals remain pending for more than 14 months, the Board has reduced its ex parte appeal inventory by over 4% in the past three months.

Appeal Inventory

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