USPTO Releases Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2021

By Donald Zuhn –-

Report CoverFinal month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace launched its Efficiency and Accountability Report for Fiscal 12 months 2021 (FY 2021).  The Report notes that in 2018 the Workplace issued its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, which “outlines the framework that permits the USPTO to answer home and worldwide prospects’ calls for for important and well timed IP services and builds on the company’s present organizational effectiveness and effectivity.”  The Report additionally notes that “[t]o fulfill the mission and targets included within the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, the USPTO developed a complete Strategic Efficiency Framework.”

The FY 2021 Report specifies 9 strategic plan key efficiency end result measures which are designed to observe progress because the Workplace implements initiatives to realize its strategic targets (two of the measures are associated to the Workplace’s objective to optimize patent high quality and timeliness).  In keeping with the Report, the Workplace met or exceeded its targets for seven of the 9 key efficiency metrics.  Desk 3 of the Report gives knowledge for the 2 patent-related efficiency targets (click on on any desk to increase):

Table 3 - Summary of Key Strategic Goal Results
The 2 patent-related efficiency targets relate to PTA compliance, with the Workplace persevering with its efforts to realize a pendency objective that 90% of each whole efficiency (i.e., mailed actions) and whole (i.e., remaining) stock be inside statutory time frames set by 35 U.S.C. § 154(b).  The Report notes that the statutory time frames (i.e., PTA classes) are as follows:

• Fourteen months from the submitting date of a patent software to the mailing date of a primary workplace motion (a press release of the Examiner’s place and the first motion to determine the problems that exist)
• 4 months to answer an modification, which incorporates an RCE
• 4 months to behave on a choice from the PTAB
• 4 months to subject a patent after cost of the problem payment
• Thirty-six months from the submitting date of an software to the problem date of a patent

Desk 9 of the Report gives a breakdown of the Workplace’s efficiency for every of those PTA classes with respect to mailed actions and remaining stock:

Table 9 - PTA Performance Data
The Report additionally notes that the variety of utility functions filed decreased from 603,669 in FY 2020 to 593,294 in FY 2021, which constituted a 1.7% lower in filings (see Desk 1 under).  This adopted a 2.5% lower in software filings in FY 2020 and a 3.3% improve in software filings in FY 2019.

Table 1 - Summary of Patent Examining Activities
The Report additionally signifies that whereas the Workplace accepted greater than 600,000 patent functions for the ninth straight 12 months and topped 500,000 functions for the twelfth consecutive 12 months (see Desk 2 under), and regardless of the second consecutive drop in functions filed, the variety of functions awaiting motion rose from 630,873 in FY 2020 to 645,573 in FY 2021 (see Desk 3 under).  It was the Workplace’s fourth consecutive improve within the variety of functions awaiting motion.  The whole variety of pending functions additionally elevated from 1,011,827 in FY 2020 to 1,045,177 in FY 2021.

Table 2 - Patent Applications Filed
Table 3 - Patent Applications Pending
After growing from 336,846 utility patent issuances in FY 2019 to 360,784 in FY 2020, patent issuances dropped in FY 2021, falling to 338,335 (see Desk 6 under).  It was the primary drop in utility patent issuances since FY 2018.

Table 6 - Patents Issued
As famous above, the Workplace now makes use of PTA compliance moderately than first motion and whole pendency as patent-related efficiency targets.  Given the combined outcomes obtained for first motion and whole pendency, the change in patent-related efficiency targets was handy.  Particularly, first motion pendency elevated from 14.8 months in FY 2020 to 16.9 months in FY 2021 regardless of a drop in patent filings, and whole pendency remained unchanged in FY 2021 at 23.3 months (see Desk 4 under).

Table 4 - Filings & Pendencies
When evaluating pendency statistics by Expertise Middle, Tech Middle 2600 (communications) produced the perfect common first motion pendency (13.5 months), and Tech Middle 1700 (chemical and supplies engineering) produced the worst common first motion pendency (18.8 months) (see Desk 4 under).  As for whole common pendency, Tech Middle 2600 additionally produced the perfect whole common pendency (19.9 months), with Tech Middle 1700 and Tech Middle 3700 (mechanical engineering, manufacturing, and merchandise) producing the worst whole common pendency (26.7 months).

Table 4 - Patent Pendency Statistics

For added info relating to this and different associated matters, please see:

• “USPTO Releases Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2018,” February 6, 2019
• “USPTO Releases Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2016,” February 6, 2017
• “USPTO Points Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2015,” March 3, 2016
• “USPTO Points Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2014,” April 7, 2015
• “USPTO Releases Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2013,” January 9, 2014
• “USPTO Releases Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2012,” November 28, 2012
• “USPTO Releases Efficiency and Accountability Report for FY 2011,” November 30, 2011
• “USPTO Releases 2010 Efficiency and Accountability Report,” November 17, 2010
• “USPTO Publicizes ‘Highest Efficiency Ranges in Company’s Historical past’ in 2008,” November 18, 2008
• “USPTO Publicizes ‘Report Breaking’ 2007 Efficiency,” November 15, 2007
• “Patent Workplace Publicizes Report-Breaking 12 months,” December 27, 2006

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