The Office of Patent Petitions dashboard would have us believe that the present backlog for deciding PPH petitions is 136 days. Given that the factual requirements for such a petition are nowadays self-certified by the filer, it seems unreasonable that the filer should have to wait 136 days for the petition to be decided. Indeed it seems to me that USPTO should make this into an ePetition (the kind of petition that is automatically processed by EFS-Web and immediately granted, if all petition requirements are met).
Some weeks ago a high-up person in the Office of Patent Petitions told me that Something Was Going To Be Done. Resources were going to be found, I was told, so that this backlog could be reduced. But my post today notes that one of our PPH cases had its petition filed 144 days ago and the Office of Patent Petitions has not yet gotten to that petition. Things seem to be getting worse, not better.
The policy goals of PPH (reducing examination backlog, improving patent quality, promoting science and the useful arts) are not well served when the USPTO falls so far behind (four, five, even six months of delay) in deciding PPH petitions.