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Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership

Monday May 16, 2011

April Dashboard Overview

Guest Blog by USPTO Commissioner for Patents Bob Stoll

The dashboard for the month of April has been released and is ready to be viewed on our website. Despite the uncertainties associated with this year’s funding, we continue to make steady progress toward our goals.

Traditional first action pendency increased to an average of 25.9 months in April. This increase from 25.3 last month was expected since we are working to clear up the oldest applications from the backlog. The increase will continue until those cases are removed through our Clearing the Oldest Patent Applications (COPA) initiative that we’ve been speaking about for many weeks now. COPA is doing what we hoped, and we see great progress now that the number of first actions on cases older than 16 months has increased. At the end of April, there were 178,392 cases remaining to be handled by the COPA initiative. Meanwhile, traditional total pendency decreased from 33.9 months in March to 33.8 months in April.

The preliminary UPR filing data through March shows that 286,700 applications have been received this fiscal year. Last year at this time, 273,773 applications had been received. The USPTO anticipates a 5 percent increase in filings this fiscal year over FY 2010. The backlog of applications awaiting first office action by examiners decreased this month to 706,778. Finally, the allowance rate increased to 46.3 percent in March, which is 2.3 percent higher than this time last year.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.

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