This is the first time since 2003 that the allowance rate has increased. For a historical graph see Patent Allowance Rate Falls (Again). This is excellent news and shows that David Kappos, Director of the Patent Office, has started to reverse the economically disastrous policies of Jon Dudas. The more realistic allowance rate that ignores RCE (Requests for Continued Examination) is 61.1%.
The USPTO now has a Data Visualization Center, shows the allowance rate and well as a number of other useful metrics updated monthly. Another important metric is total pendency time (traditional) which stands at 35.4 months. This means that if you file a patent application, on average it will take almost three years for it issue. Another interesting metric is actions per disposal. This is the number of Office Actions the average application receives before it is allowed, abandoned, or appealed. This has declined to 2.42. The total number of actions that an applicant has to endure is particularly important for small entities and independent inventors. However, this number does not include appeals. I have had clients that have gone through numerous appeals without any resolution of the issues in the last eight years. The absurd treatment of these clients’ patent applications would not be captured by this metric.
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