USPTO Meets Goals of Reducing Patent Pendency Rates

Takeaway: The United States Patent and Trademark Office has reached its goals of reducing patent pendency rates cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been working for many years to reduce patent pendency rates. Since 2018, the USPTO specified goal rates of under 15 months for office actions and under 24 months for total pendency. Currently, at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, the USPTO reached these goals, reporting the “averages are 14.7 months for first action pendency and 23.8 months for total pendency.” These rates mark “the USPTO’s lowest first action pendency since January 2002, despite total application filings nearly doubling in that time, from 353,000 in FY 2002 to 667,000 in FY 2019.”

The improvements in these pendency rates at the USPTO is much attributable to the efforts of the USPTO office employees and their ability to better prioritize applications and balance workloads. Examiner training has also improved at the USPTO, leading to better equipped and efficient examining officers. These advancements will aid in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship to help grow the economy and to improve life as we know it.