Each fall, the USPTO issues an annual report that contains, among other things, useful statistics relating to patent and trademark filings. For example, I previously posted about the report’s summaries of how long it takes for a patent or trademark to grant (34.6 months on average in 2009) and the likelihood of success of patent applications (a 44% allowance rate in 2009).
Last week the USPTO announced a new tool, the Data Visualization Dashboard, that provides additional, up-to-date insight on USPTO patent pendency and allowance statistics. Useful information through August 2010 includes:
- On average, patent applications typically wait 26.2 months for a first Office Action, and 35.4 months to a final decision. If an RCE is filed, the time to final decision is typically 45 months.
- Patent applications typically receive 2.4 Office Actions before they are allowed or finally rejected. This figure is a decrease from 2008’s average of 2.9 Office Actions per application and 2009’s average of 2.7 Office Actions per application.
- The overall allowance rate is 60.2%. Although this figure would ordinarily be considered a significant increase over 2009’s 44% rate, it also reflects a change in the way that allowances are measured. The 60.2% allowance rate cases in which the applicant received a final rejection and then filed a Request for Continued Examination (RCE). The 2009 figure did not consider such cases allowed. Using the previous method of calculation, the allowance rate for 2010 if RCE’s aren’t considered is 45% — about the same as the 2009 level.
The USPTO promises to make additional data available on the Data Visualization Dashboard soon.