The USPTO issued 48,596 patents in Q2, down slightly from 2008, and published 81,288 applications, 4.6 percent more than the same period last year. Approximately 2.1 million plant and utility patent applications have been published since 2001. The USPTO is on track to publish more than 330,000 applications in 2009, which would be the largest total on record.
Plant patent no. PP20,000 was issued on May 19, 2009 for a new and distinct type of Cuphea plant, a type of flowering shrub. The inventor is Christiaan Unger of Worms, Germany, who is credited with three other plant patents. Design patent no. 600,000 is expected in October. Only two statutory invention registrations have been registered this year, which suggests that their popularity is waning. SIRs are, for all intents and purposes, simply published applications. They may be cited as prior art but carry no patent rights.
Table 1. Quarterly Patent and PGPub Counts*
2009 ..... Patents (B) .....PGPubs (A)..... Total (A + B)
Q1 ..... 49,227 ..... 83,855 ..... 133,112
Q2 ..... 48,596 ..... 81,288 ..... 129,884
*Based on preliminary weekly data from the USPTO website. Totals may change after the fact due to withdrawn patents and published applications.
Table 2. Weekly Averages and Medians (Q2)
Patents ..... 3,738 ..... 3,764
PGPubs ..... 6,253 ..... 6,228
Table 3. Number Ranges for 2009, Jan. 1 - June 30
Utility patents ..... 7,472,428 - 7,555,787
Reissues ..... RE40,613 - RE40,817
PGPubs ..... 2009/0000001 - 2009/0183289
Designs ..... D584,026 - D595,475
Plants ...... PP19,613 - PP20,148
SIRs ..... H2,228 - H2,229
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