Patent office unveils new tool to track application stats

USPTO headquarters (Alan Kotok/Flickr)

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The patent office unveiled a new dashboard that gives the public details about how well it’s tackling its looming backlog of patent applications.

An update to an earlier U.S. Patent and Trademark Office dashboard, the newest version encompasses additional data related to design patent applications, petitions, patent term adjustments and other application filing information.

“Much of the data … is being provided to the public for the first time, and in response to public requests for it,” Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

She said the new dashboard is part of a larger effort to encourage transparency and promote patent quality. The agency recently has underscored the importance of improving the quality of the patents it issues. Earlier this year, the patent office hosted a summit to gather public opinion on patent quality.

Lawmakers and the tech industry have grown increasingly concerned about “patent trolls,” a term for predatory firms that engage in frivolous intellectual property lawsuits. Improving patent quality has been touted as a way to thwart the efforts of trolls. Some have also suggested a focus on patent quality could help examiners take a bigger bite out of the mountain of pending patent applications.

The new dashboard has information from last month, showing that the office is sitting on 585,811 unexampled patent applications. Click on the “Production, Backlog, and Filing Data” button, and users can see how that figure compares to past months.

The agency has several other similar dashboards, including one from the trademark side of its business.

Users can comment on the patent dashboard by emailing patentsdashboard@uspto.gov.

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Applications & Software, apps, Commerce Department, Departments, Tech, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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