The latest analysis of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings has revealed a significant uptick in the issuance of utility patents in recent months, with administrators setting an all-time single-week high, according to PatentlyO.
The record mark came during the week of March 20, according to the news source, with 4,976 patents issued. After a deeper examination of the numbers, it was discovered that the seven highest weeks have all come in 2012. Although there was no data available to confirm the number of cases that were ultimately abandoned, it remains clear that there has been an increase in processing efficiency.
One likely contributor to this trend has been the establishment and emerging popularity of the Track One Prioritized Patent Examination Program.
"Our goal is to continually provide patent applicants with a variety of processing options that are more responsive to their real-world needs," USPTO director David Kappos explained at the time of initial enactment.
By providing applicants with greater control over, and insight into, the patent review timetable, USPTO officials hope to inspire interest from candidates who may have formerly been reluctant to engage with the patent system.