The USPTO published 77,691 patent applications (A docs) in Q2, a six percent increase over the same quarter last year and the second straight quarter over 77,000, but a slight decline from the Q1 2008. The USPTO is on track to publish over 310,000 applications this year. Approximately 1.8 million plant and utilty patent applications have been published since 2001.
The number of issued patents (B docs) rebounded from 43,657 in Q1 to 49,353 in Q2, a dramatic 13 percent jump and a six percent increase over the previous year. Curiously, the number of issued patents remained flat for most of Q2.
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.