USPTO August 2011 Patent Examination Performance Overview

The USPTO has released its performance “Patent Dashboard” for the month of August, 2011. The dashboard is a webpage showing numerous metrics related to the PTO’s patent application backlog, pendency rates, quality scores, and other data.

The dashboard is a measuring stick for the USPTO’s patent quality measurement procedures (how the USPTO started measuring its own examination quality in 2011) and lets the public see vital stats such as application pendency.

Among the stats, the dashboard shows that the average time for the USPTO to mail a first office action was 28.2 months after the application was filed. This number is slightly up from last month’s pendency time of 27.8 months.

The numbers also show that the average total pendency (time from application filing until the patent issues or the application is abandoned) in August was 33.7 months–up from 33.5 months in July. The PTO’s stated goal for total pendency is 20 months (to be achieved by a target date of 2015).

In 2011, the fastest technology group at the USPTO, in terms of mailing out the first office action, was the Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry Tech. Group, with an average time after filing of 23.8 months. The Chemical and Materials Engineering Tech. Group came in second place at 26.1 months. The slowest technology group, the Computer Networks, Multiplex Communication, Video Distribution, and Security Tech. Group, mailed first office actions an average 34.3 months after the filing date, with the Communications Tech. Group coming in second-to-last at 32 months.