Patent Term Adjustment Data

Patents Issued in the Past Month with PTA Breakdown

Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) is a process of extending the term of a U.S. patent. Its intention is to accommodate for delays caused by the USPTO during the prosecution of a U.S. utility or plant patent application. The total PTA is an addition to the 20 year lifespan of the issued U.S. patent. Congress has defined the conditions upon which an applicant can receive an extension to the term and such requirements are established in 35 USC 154(b). In FY2019, USPTO has a goal of mailing first actions within 14 months of filing in 45% of new cases acted upon, and issuing allowance within 36 months of filing in 80% of all allowed cases, per PTA rules."

The above chart shows the number of patents issued in the past month and breaks out the number of patent grants receiving PTA and those that did not receive PTA.

Patents Issued in the Past Month That Received PTA by Type

The above chart breaks out the number of patent grants in the past month that received PTA adjustment into the four types: Type A, Type B, Type C, and Applicant Delay. Type A delay occurs when the USPTO fails to reply within the time period provided. As per U.S. Patent law, the USPTO has to issue the First Office action within 14 months of filing of the application. All other office actions have to be issued within 4 months of receipt of an applicant response.

Type A delay = Date of issuance of office Action -(Date of receipt of applicant response + 4 Months/14 Months).

Type B delay: The USPTO estimates the normal prosecution period of an application to be three years, i.e., between the date of the filing of the application and the issue of the patent. If prosecution of the application exceeds this time, then Type B delays come into place. A Type B delay will be calculated if no RCE (Request For Continued Examination) is filed Prior to completion of the three-year period. If an RCE is filed after the three-year period, then the Type B delay will be calculated up to the date of the filing of the RCE. Type B delay = Date of issue of Patent/Date of filing of first RCE - (Date of filing of application + 3 years)

Type C delay: This type of delay is calculated in the events of secrecy orders or interferences.

Applicant delay: Applicant delay occurs when the applicant fails to respond to the office action within 3 months of mailing of the Office action by the examiner.

Total PTA = Type A + Type B + Type C - Applicant Delay - overlapping delays.

Average Days Delay of Applications Receiving PTA Adjustment in the Past Month by Type

The above chart breaks out the average days of delay of applications receiving each type of PTA adjustment in the past month.