December 28, 2006

The USPTO recently announced its statistics pertaining to quality and production, hiring and training, electronic filing and processing, telework, and international relations and enforcement for fiscal year 2006. According to the USPTO, patent examiners completed 332,000 patent applications in FY2006, with a 54% allowance rate and the lowest patent allowance error rate (3.5%) in over twenty years. Final action was taken in over 378,000 trademark applications, achieving a record-low 3.6% error rate. Over 1,200 patent examiners were hired, with the goal of hiring 1,000 new examiners each year for the next five years. In addition, 87 trademark examining attorneys were hired, resulting in a total of over 400 trademark attorneys at the USPTO (the most ever). Use of the Electronic Filing System-Web (EFS-Web) jumped from 1.5% per month of total patent filings to 33% of total patent filings, and 94% of all trademark applications were filed electronically (compared with 88% in FY2005). Additional statistics, including information on examiner work outside of the office and efforts to stop intellectual property piracy, are available at the USPTO link below.

USPTO Press Release: LINK
USPTO's FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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