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Archived updates for Monday, November 19, 2007

USPTO 2007 Fiscal Year-End Report Touts Improved Patent Quality

According to the USPTO's press release on its 2007 Annual Report available at

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.
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