January 07, 2008

Back in October, 2006, I compiled data regarding how quickly the U.S. Patent Office issues utility patents (link below). I began with the issue date of U.S. Patent No. 4,000,000 (December 28, 1976), and looked at how many days it took to issue the next 100,000 patents. I took increments of 100,000 patents through U.S. Patent No. 7,100,000 (issued on August 29, 2006), and calculated the number of days between each 100,000 patents issued. As could be expected, it took longer to issue patents earlier on, noting that the highest figure (658 days) occurred between the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 4,100,000 (July 11, 1978) and U.S. Patent No. 4,200,000 (April 29, 1980).

As I was curious to see how recent statistics compared to this information, so I obtained the newer data from the USPTO website, as well as older data to shorten the increments between data points from 100,000 utility patents to 50,000. The data shown in the graph above (click to open a larger version) begins with U.S. Patent No. 5,500,000 (issued on March 19, 2006), and ends with U.S. Patent No. 7,300,000 (issued on November 27, 2007), providing the number of days between issuance of 50,000 patents based upon the milestone patent numbers 5,500,000, 5,550,000, 5,600,000, and so forth. The last data point is the number of days between issuance of U.S. Patent No. 7,250,000 (issued July 31, 2007), and U.S. Patent No. 7,300,000, namely 119 days.

With the exception of a couple of 140 day increments, the number of days between the issuance of 50,000 U.S. patents appears to be around the 110 day range. Since U.S. Patent No. 5,500,000, the highest number of days between the issuance of 50,000 patents is 168 days (between U.S. Patent No. 5,600,000 and 5,650,000), and the lowest number is 91 days (between U.S. Patent No. 5,950,000 and 6,000,000). The last six data points (after the last of the two relatively recent 140 day increments) are 98 days, 98 days, 105 days, 112, days, 119 days, and 119 days, respectively. The average of the last ten data points is 115 days, while the average of the last twenty data points is 112 days.

October, 2006, DDIP Post: 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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