USPTO does better with PPH requests lately

Yesterday the USPTO published a graph showing progress in disposing of what had been a very discouraging backlog of unattended-to Patent Prosecution Highwaypph-backlog requests.  Here is the graph:

From a glance at this graph, one might have the impression that the problem at the USPTO had started in October of 2015.  In fact the problem dated from at least as early as November 2014, when I blogged about ever-increasing delays at the USPTO in granting PPH requests.  In April of 2015 I had faxed a letter to Director Lee about this growing backlog.

USPTO’s graph indicates a backlog of unattended-to PPH requests of about 3200 cases in October 2015, reaching a peak of about 4000 in February 2016, and a notable drop to around 2400 as of a few weeks ago.  (I note that our firm, all by itself, was responsible for something like 2% of all of these PPH cases.)

The interesting question is how this effort at the USPTO is working out nowadays for particular applicants.  We try to track these things pretty closely at our firm, and here is what we see.

filed granted days
March 30, 2016 April 18, 2016 19
March 30, 2016 April 18, 2016 19
March 9, 2016 April 26, 2016 48
March 8, 2016 April 21, 2016 44
February 19, 2016 April 19, 2016 60
February 9, 2016 May 9, 2016 90
January 5, 2016 April 6, 2016 92
January 5, 2016 April 6, 2016 92
November 20, 2015 April 20, 2016 152
August 25, 2015 April 21, 2016 240
August 24, 2015 April 14, 2016 234

Here are our eleven most recently granted PPH requests.  As you can see, two of the recently granted requests dated from August of 2015, some eight months ago.  But most astonishing (in a good way!) are some recently filed PPH requests that were decided in as few as 19 days!

As I say, I first reported this problem of a serious PPH backlog in November of 2014, some eighteen months ago.   It is very encouraging news that by now, in May of 2016, USPTO has made very good progress, having knocked the backlog down from some eight months to well under one month.

Kudos to USPTO for doing the right thing with PPH requests!



One Reply to “USPTO does better with PPH requests lately”

  1. Good morning;

    My inquiriy is quite simple. Do you prefer the USPTO has decided in only 19 days to grant the Patents Applications submitted under PPH without take regardlees the scope of the invention?. In other words, it sound good that the USPTO has finished with it delay to decid in those applications, however aren´t you worried about the scope of the invention of if the Examiner did not examine all the topic in one patent?.

    Thank you in advance for your time and your opinion.

    Kind regards,

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