USPTO releases 2007 annual report, Patent Reform Act to be considered in January?November 15, 2007

The USPTO has released its 2007 Performance and Accountability Report. Here are a few highlights:

  • Average time for first office action (patent): 25.3 months
  • Average total application pendency (patent): 31.9 months
  • Percent of patent applications filed electronically: 49.3%
  • Average time for first office action (trademark): 2.9 months
  • Average total application pendency (trademark): 15.1 months
  • Percent of trademark applications filed electronically: 95.4%

Commissioner Dudas, when asked about the report, stated that patent application pendency is expected to increase, at least for the next few years (meaning until he is no longer Commissioner, as the position is a political appointment). He also believes that the rules limiting claims and continuations that were enjoined on October 31 will eventually be allowed to be implemented.

Also, according to reports, the Patent Reform Act of 2007 is unlikely to be considered by the Senate until at least January. The Act has been stalled since passing the House in September and being marked up by the Senate Judiciary Committee in July. Since then, opposition to the Act has mobilized, and heavy lobbying has been taking place on both sides of the reform issue. If the full Senate does take up the Act in January, it will have to move quickly, as the next legislative session is currently scheduled to begin on January 15.

We'll have more thoughts on the USPTO's Annual Report in the coming days. To read the full document [.pdf – 5MB file], click here.

Update (11/16): The USPTO has issued a press release regarding the report.

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