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Patent Office To Act On Older Applications This Year

Patent office delays are getting ridiculous. As I’ve previously reported, the 35 month total pendency is misleading, but the 24+ month delay to until first action is disastrous.  Today, the an Examiner’s blog brought some good news to inventors that have been kept waiting:

Let’s start with the bottom line: The Office wants all applications with an actual filing date prior to June 7th 2009 to receive first actions by the end of the fiscal year. Obviously, some tech centers have a larger backlog than others, which means that this goal is likely no problem at all for some, but a big stretch for others.

Via Clearing the Oldest Patent Applications (COPA) (emphasis mine)

So how is the patent office going to do this? According to the post, a PTO memo claimed they would

“…rebalance workloads by sharing resources both within and across Technology Centers. Workloads will be rebalanced by identifying technological overlaps between art units and TCs thereby matching backlog applications to available resources.”

In other words, applications will be re-assigned to Examiners that may likely be less familiar with the subject matter. Hopefully examination quality won’t suffer as a result, but it does seem somewhat inevitable, doesn’t it?

Too bad the patent reform bill would have the patent office running around, dealing with post-grant oppositions and grappling with new derivation procedures, instead of just hiring more examiners …

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  1. Pingback: Rising Patent Application Abandonments « Gametime IP - April 1, 2011

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