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USPTO Year in Review - 2020 Patent Trends

| Category: USPTO Patent and Trademark News

By:      Gene M. Garner II, Partner
            An Nguyen, Law Clerk

In February 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark office (“USPTO”) released its annual Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2020. Overall, the report showed a slight decrease in U.S. patent application filings in fiscal year 2020 but an increase in patent issuances across utility, design, and plant applications compared to fiscal year 2019. Additionally, the USPTO is now offering final decisions faster, with an average time of 23.3 months compared to 23.8 months in 2019. The USPTO maintained their goal of 14.8 months for average first action pendency.*

 

Patent Filings

 

2019

2020

%

Utility

619,017

603,764

-0.98

Reissue

1,096

1,064

-.097

Plant

1,159

1,044

-0.90

Design

45,571

47,439

0.96

 

Patent Issuances

 

2019

2020

∆%

Utility

336,846

360,784

0.93

Reissue

554

608

0.91

Plant

1,193

1,350

0.88

Design

31,846

36,313

0.88

Total

370,423

399,055

0.93

 

UPR Pendency Statistics by Technology Center (in months)

Average First Action Pendency

Total Average Pendency

Tech Center 1600—Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry

13.3

22.6

Tech Center 1700—Chemical and Materials Engineering

16.8

26.9

Tech Center 2100—Computer Architecture, Software, and Information Security

16.0

26.5

Tech Center 2400—Networks, Multiplexing, Cable, and Security

12.9

23.1

Tech Center 2600—Communications

11.4

19.2

Tech Center 2800—Semiconductor, Electrical, Optical Systems, and Components

13.1

21.1

Tech Center 3600—Transportation, Construction, Agriculture, and Electronic Commerce

16.7

26.4

Tech Center 3700—Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products

17.7

28.0

Total Utility, Plant, and Reissue Pendency

14.8

23.3

 

*All data comes from USPTO’s 2019 and 2020 Performance and Accountability Report, available at https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/performance-and-planning/uspto-annual-reports 

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