Week of December 12, 2005
Patents Issued = 2,873*
Published Applications = 4,914*
Patents PGPubs Total
Q1 40,563 71,889 112,452
Q2 41,926 72,776 114,702
Q3 41,693 72,298 113,991
Q4 28,076 61,796 89,872 (to Dec. 15)
Year 152,258 278,759 431,017
There has been a large drop in the number of issued patents since October 1. From January to September, the weekly average of issued patents was 3,184. From October 1 to December 15, the weekly average is 2,552, a drop of about 20 percent. Published applications, on the other hand, have increased slightly over the course of the year. The weekly average of PGPubs from January to September was 5,563. From October 1 to December 15 it was 5,618.
Is the drop in the number of issued patents connected to the USPTO's changing workforce? Perhaps. The USPTO has hired 970 patent examiners this year. Undoubtably, the challenge of integrating and training such a large group (almost 25% of the total examing corps) must be pulling resources away from other activities.
*Based on preliminary data from the USPTO web site.