The USPTO publishes statistics on the size of the backlog for the various art units. Which design art units have the worst backlogs?
Here is the answer:
- 28 months — art unit 2913
- 16 months — art unit 2916
- 14 months — art unit 2914
- 13 months — art units 2912, 2917, 2918
- 12 months — art unit 2911
- 11 months — art unit 2915
Conspicuous by its absence on this list is the ghost art unit 2910, the art unit with no Examiners. Also conspicuous by its absence are art units 2919 and 2921, each of which does actually have Examiners but does not have any published statistics regarding backlog.
In our office we try to track these things. Quite a few of our pending design patent applications at the USPTO are for graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Maybe half of our GUI cases are in the ghost art unit and so will never be examined (until they get transferred to a real art unit). Of our GUI cases that are in a real art unit, they are all in 2913.