Last fall, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) unveiled its Data Visualization Center, which is a real-time reporting tool showing the USPTO’s performance in examining patent applications.
The Patent Dashboard feature shows several metrics for pending patent applications. The USPTO currently issues its first substantive action on the average new patent application 25.3 months after the filing date, and is currently issuing patents a little less than 3 years after the filing date.
Over the last several months, the USPTO has added staff and made a concerted effort to reduce the application backlog. The result has been a reduction in the total pendency time for new applications.
These figures are great for people (especially new clients) who are thinking about filing a new patent application. Once an application is filed, the USPTO will provide an estimate of time to the first office action for that particular application. Clients who want to know this information can call and ask for this estimate, which we can retrieve quickly through the USPTO’s Private PAIR system.