USPTO on Pace to Break Patent Grant Record

October 5th, 2010

by Daniel Sineway

On October 5, 2010, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued its 168,000th utility patent for 2010. This number has already eclipsed the total number of patents issued for 2009 (i.e., 167,350). The record for highest number of patent grants issued in any year was set in 2006 at 173,772 utility patents. At its current pace, the USPTO will break that record within the next couple of weeks.

It is not entirely clear what has caused this spike in patent issuances. Perhaps the USPTO’s recent efforts to improve the quality of examination, reduce patent backlog, hire additional examiners, etc. has resulted in an overall greater number of patents being examined, and therefore a greater number of allowances. Or, perhaps the USPTO, under the direction and control of new director David Kappos, has eased up on its seemingly rejection-biased approach to review and examination of applications. Whatever the reason, the signs are encouraging for patent applicants that they will be able to receive some protection for their novel and innovative technologies.

This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice; see disclaimer at Please contact Daniel Sineway of the MMM Patent/IP Group with any questions: 404-364-7421;