Your Tech’s Patent App Pendency

September 13, 2012

This week, Patently-O touches on an issue common among our patent researchers: what’s the average pendency for an application?

Reducing patent pendency has been a major goal of the Kappos directorship. However, it is probably useful to pause for a moment to consider whether we should care about pendency and backlog. Certainly we want to know and understand the delay in order to advise our clients on how to order their affairs. But, should we care whether the delay is relatively longer or shorter?

In his post, Dennis Crouch examined the pendency of claims for patents issued on September 4th, 2012. To emulate Mr.Crouch’s search on Thomson Innovation, we tried this:

DP>=(20120904) AND DP<=(20120904) NOT KI=(s*) NOT PN=(uspp*);

By eliminating kind code, ‘S,’ for design patents and publication numbers beginning in uspp, we were able to narrow results to mostly utility patents only.  Then,  choose the charts function from the analyze drop-down menu:


Choose Application Year as the primary field to analyze, and voila, you have a chart that more or less mirrors the one produced by Mr. Crouch:



Of course, a similar procedure works if you wish to search  say, not by publication date, but for the relevant prior art.  For example, here we have a US Class code search (one common in the telecom market) for patents issued after 2005:

UC=(455/041.2) AND (PY>=(2006) AND PY<=(2012));

Set your primary field to analyze the application year, your secondary field to analyze publication year.  Your resulting chart shows the top application years for each publication year.  In this case, we can see 4 years is the most prevalent pendency period: