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USPTO Reduces Patent Backlog

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

26 October 2011


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced preliminary statistics for its fiscal year (FY) 2011, during which it said that many of its goals, in both patents and trademarks, were achieved or exceeded.

The USPTO ended FY2011 with its lowest patent backlog number in five years. At of the close of the year, the backlog of unexamined patent applications was reduced to 669,625. This represents a 10% reduction in the backlog since USPTO Director David Kappos took office in FY2009, even with an average 5% annual increase of patent application filings.

USPTO’s goal to clear the oldest patent applications was embraced, with 257,642 processed through the first office action, exceeding its FY2011 goal by more than 20,000 applications.

“I am pleased with the progress we have made in reducing the agency’s enormous backlog of unexamined applications and in shortening wait times,” said David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “We have really begun to make headway, and this is an important step forward in reinventing the patent system so that it can meet the needs of innovators in a timely manner, helping bring innovations to the marketplace faster and creating jobs for the American people.”

The USPTO’s trademarks organization also met or exceeded all FY2011 goals for quality, pendency and e-government. Trademarks also continued to meet all of its goals for timely reviewing and completing examination on applications, for correct decision making by examiners, and for electronic filing and processing of applications.

Kappos added that: “I look forward to continued success in the new fiscal year.” Additional data will be made available in the agency’s performance and accountability report, which will be released in mid-November.

TAGS: business | trademarks | patents | law | intellectual property | United States | trade

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