The USPTO recently released its FY2020 Performance and Accountability Report, with contains helpful information about allowance rates, average pendency, and other statistics about its review of patent and trademark applications this year. Each year, IP Spotlight analyzes this report and, and we update our readers who often ask: how long does it take for a patent or trademark registration to grant? To answer that question:
Patents: In 2020 the USPTO’s eight-year trend of reducing patent application pendency continued to trend downward. The average time from filing to first action was 14.7 months. The average total pendency — that is, the time from filing to either grant or abandonment — was 23.3 months. Both of these numbers were slightly below last year’s averages. The numbers also exceeded the USPTO’s goals.
The wait times varied based on the USPTO Technology Center that reviewed the application. The breakdown by technology included:
The total number of nonprovisional patent applications filed dropped by about 2%, to 653,311 in 2020. However, the number of provisional patent applications increased by about 3% to an all-time high of 174,464.
399,055 patents issued in FY 2020, also an all-time high of 665,231. The allowance rate increased to 61.7%.
Trademarks: In FY 2020 the average time from filing to first Office Action in a trademark application was 3 months. Average total pendency was 9.5 months for applications that were not opposed or suspended during prosecution.
Notably, despite the year’s pandemic, during which many brand holders consolidated or dropped brands, the total number of trademark applications filed increased by nearly 10% to 738,112. The number of active certificates of trademark registration increased by 5.7% to over 2.6 million.