The RCE Backlog: A Critical Patent Office Problem
The backlog of unexamined patent applications was down over 15.1% in September 2012, compared with October 2010. At the same time, however, the number of unexamined RCE filings grew 95.56%, after peaking at 103.93% in August 2012. In the column above labeled “Totals,” I added the number of unexamined patent application with the number of unexamined RCE filings. When you consider all of these unexamined filings the progress of the USPTO is more modest. There is not a 15.1% dip, but rather a 8.05% dip in unexamined patent filings over this interval. It seems rather clear that the USPTO has traded an unacceptably high unexamined patent application backlog for a still unacceptably high but better unexamined patent application backlog PLUS a ridiculous RCE backlog.