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Tuesday Aug 16, 2011

First Office Action Backlog Dips Even Lower

Guest blog by USPTO Commissioner for Patents Bob Stoll
Last month we announced how our backlog of patent applications awaiting first office action by examiners dropped below 700,000 in June, and this month we’re pleased to report that the number has dropped further. The backlog is now at 689,226, with 65,334 applications awaiting initial action following a request for continued examination (RCE) at the end of July. The complete report can be viewed on our updated dashboard.
Traditional First Action Pendency increased to an average of 27.8 months in July. This increase from 27.2 last month was expected since we are working to clear up oldest applications from the backlog as part of our Clearing the Oldest Patent Applications (COPA) initiative. At the end of July, there were 103,242 cases remaining, down from 131,748 in June. Meanwhile, Traditional Total Pendency decreased from 33.6 months in June to 33.5 months in July.
The Preliminary UPR filing data through July shows that 410,888 applications have been received this fiscal year. Last year at this time, 396,900 applications had been received.  The Office anticipates a 4.0% increase in filings this fiscal year over FY 2010. The allowance rate was 47% in July, which is 2.3% higher than this time last year. This increase is appropriate considering efforts taken to encourage examiner collaboration with applicants to practice compact prosecution. The quality measures have also seen an increase over last month with a final disposition compliance rate of 95.9% and an in-process compliance rate of 95.7%.
As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.


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