(Followup posting here.)
Within our office we try to track our PPH cases pretty carefully. This prompted my recent blog postings here and here and here about the recent substantial worsening of the backlog within the USPTO in considering requests for PPH status. After months of no progress USPTO has managed to grant a few of our long-pending PPH petitions, and so we have some hard data as just now bad the backlog is in recent weeks.
A review of about 200 PPH cases yielded some observations.
- Our PPH petitions filed in 2010 took an average of 43 days to get decided.
- Our PPH petitions filed in 2011 took an average of 97 days to get decided.
- Our PPH petitions filed in 2012 took an average of 69 days to get decided.
- Our PPH petitions filed in 2013 took an average of 60 days to get decided.
- Our PPH petitions filed in the first eight months of 2014 took an average of 51 days to get decided.
- Our PPH petitions filed in or after September of 2014 … the ones that are decided took an average of 139 days to get decided.
- Even now we have five PPH petitions that were filed 150 or more days ago (in September of 2014) that have not yet been decided.
Used to be the PPH petitions were decided by people in the individual technology centers. But since mid-2014 this work has been taken over by the Office of Petitions. This seems to have been a disaster, with delays of 139 or even 150 or more days being the rule rather than the exception.
I wonder if maybe what needs to happen is the Office of Petitions should give this work back to the Technology Center people who were handling these petitions before. Or share at least the US-national-phase PPH cases with the PCT Legal Administration office which is deciding its petitions much more timely in recent months.