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Wednesday Nov 10, 2010

First Action Pendency and RCEs Drop in October

Special Guest Blog by USPTO Commissioner for Patents Bob Stoll


The latest figures from the USPTO show that during the past month there was a continued improvement in traditional first action pendency. The October figure is 25.4 months, down from September’s 25.7 months. The October data also shows a fairly large decrease in the number of Requests for Continuations (RCEs) from this time last year. The current figure is 6,526, which is preliminary and will most likely increase in the future.  However, it is expected to stay well under the October 2009 level which was 11,301.

Overall, in looking at the October 2010 data, though,  it is important to remember that many of statistics on the dashboard are displayed as fiscal year averages. Since it is the first month of the new fiscal year, it is not uncommon to see a slight dip in some of the numbers. The UPR allowance rate, for example, is a fiscal year average and historically we see a drop in the allowance rate at the beginning of each new fiscal year.

The backlog of applications awaiting first office action by examiners increased this month to 716,428.  Historically, we see similar growth in the backlog at the start of each fiscal year.  

Our successful Green Technology program continues to show strong growth. Total petitions received to date have increased to 1,595, with an overall approval rate of over 51%.   In addition, 94 patents have been issued under this program.

We continue to receive positive feedback from our stakeholders regarding the information contained in the Data Visualization Center.  As fiscal year 2011 progresses, we will continue to respond to the needs of our stakeholders by enhancing the information available and making adjustments to improve the user experience.




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