USPTO 2007 Fiscal Year-End Report Touts Improved Patent Quality
Of particular note is the relationship among USPTO's quality initiatives, fewer granted patents, and higher affirmance rates on appeal.
- Patent examiner decisions were upheld by the USPTO's patent appeals board 69 percent of the time, up from 51 percent in 2005.
- 51 percent of patent applications were granted in FY 2007. The allowance rate is a function of many aspects, including the quality of the applications received. (In 2000, a record high of 72 percent of all patent applications became patents.)
- The USPTO's focus on internal quality controls is primarily responsible for the lowered grant rate over the past several years.
- Looking forward, the USPTO expects that its various applicant-centered initiatives to focus examination will result in clearer applications and thus an increased grant rate - - while maintaining a high affirmance rate from the patent appeals board.