The Annual PTO Performance and Accountability Report for fiscal year 2012 has been released. Additionally, the Japan Patent Office has released its 2012 Annual Report.
Some highlights from the Report:
The U.S. is No. (3) in Patent Filings with over 300,000 new filings this past year behind world No. (1) China and No. (2) Japan. The 300,000 figure excludes provisionals and RCE and other continuing applications. If those were included the total patent filings rises to 566,000 which would place the United States at No. (2) behind China with a whopping 1,630,000 applications.
The 1.2 Million Case Inventory (patents awaiting examination) inherited from the Dudas Administration is now over 1.2 Million.
There are 600,000 cases awaiting a first office action (vs. Projected 400,000). The 700,000-plus backlog of cases awaiting First Action inherited from the Dudas Administration has been cut by about 100,000, short, however, by 200,000 from the original goal of the Present Administration to enter FY2013 with a backlog just over 400,000 applications.
The reported allowance rate of 88 % does not count refilings. It is officially 54 % not counting the refilings. More statistics are available on the PTO “dashboard”.
The United States has about 8,000 Examiners, roughly five times the number of Examiners in the Japanese Patent Office. Japan has about 18 % of its corps devoted to Appeal Examiners while the U.S. has 2 % APJs, a nearly 10:1 ratio.
More detailed information, and more, can be found here: PTOAnnualReport2012_NOV26 copy
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