Thursday, November 30, 2006

WIPO PCT Glossary and History of PCT Regulations

The WIPO has released two new reference works for PCT users:

The PCT Glossary contains definitions for dozens of terms commonly used in PCT rules and documentation. Terms are linked to appropriate PCT articles, rules, administrative instructions and forms.

The History of PCT Regulations is a 300 page in-depth history of PCT rules from June 19, 1970-October 12, 2006. The first edition was published in 1995.

Monday, November 27, 2006

USPTO Receives 443,652 Patent Applications in 2006

Here are some interesting facts from the FY 2006 USPTO annual report:

# of new applications: 443,652 (up from 409,532 in FY05)
# of pending applications: 1,077,042 (up from 885,002 in FY05)
# of provisional applications: 121,307 (up from 111,753 in FY05)
# of issued patents: 183,187 (up from 165,483 in FY05)
Average pendency: 31.1 months (up from 29.1 in FY05)

Although the USPTO is hiring patent examiners like crazy (1,218 in 2006) , it can't possibly train them fast enough to keep up with new filings *and* maintain quality *and* shorten review times. The number of published applications is going to continue to surpass issued patents 1.5-2.0 to 1. There will probably be more than 295,000 published applications in calendar year 2006 and perhaps 325,000 in 2007.

The bottom line: more outsourcing and fast-track examination programs.