Posted in: Apple, Companies We Follow, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, USPTO
Have you ever heard of a design patent application that remained pending for nearly 11 years? Well, if you haven’t prior to now you have now. The design patent application was originally filed on January 4, 2000, and the design patent was issued earlier today as U.S. Design Patent No. D629,412. The long and tortured path to obtain the design patent on a drop down menu took 10 years and 50 weeks! Almost unbelievable. Getting this one patent application off the books should meaningfully help the averages, which is a sad commentary in and of itself.
In reviewing Public PAIR it becomes apparent that nothing was substantively done on this design patent application for a full 2 years. The first substantive event occurred on January 4, 2002, when the patent examiner issued a Non-Final Rejection. Prosecution proceeded forward at an excruciatingly slow pace for a design patent application, ultimately necessitating an Appeal Brief to be filed on January 5, 2004. Then the application seems to have done one of the truly great Rip Van Winkle impersonations of all time, again laying dormant for nearly 4 years. The next substantive entry is an Ex Parte Quayle Action dated December 11, 2007, some 3 years and 48 weeks after the Appeal Brief was filed, and now nearly 7 years after the application was initially filed.