The United States Patent and Trademark Office released its "Performance and Accountability Report" and one thing is obvious from the report is that the number of patent applications filed in the United States is going up.
Record numbers of United States inventors and businesses find it more important than ever to protect their intellectual property by filing a patent application.
Here’s a table from the report that shows the number of patent applications that were filed every year since 2007 has gone up.
So, over 500,000 new patent applications were filed in 2011. As much as the patent office wants to become more efficient the number of patents filed each year keeps the 6,664 patent examiners very busy.
With this great number of applications filed, the patent office discusses its goals and difficulties in trying to achieve a more efficient way to keep up with the huge numbers of patents filed every day in the United States.
In the report it is stated that the patent office has
"undertaken a series of initiatives to improve the speed and quality of patent processing in an ongoing effort to further strengthen the examination capacity of the USPTO."
For the first time in several years, the number of patent applications awaiting first action has fallen below 700,000. Even so doesn’t a backlog of 671,409 seem like a pretty big number to you? Well it is, and even if the number of pending applications is much lower than it has been in the past, it still takes over two years for a new patent application to be looked at for the first time.