The USPTO issued a total of 247741 patents in 2011, more than any previous year. Of these, 224519 were utility patents. It is interesting to note that of these utility patents, 1693 were also filed in 2011, indicating that at least a small fraction (0.75%) of patents issue very expeditiously. Half of the patents that issued in 2011 were filed in 2008 or sooner, which means that the other half were pending for more than three years. 21.4% of the 2011 patents were filed in 2007, 13.8% of the 2011 patents were filed in 2006, 7.6% of 2011 patents were filed in 2005, and 3.8% of 2011 patents were filed in 2004. 7616 of the 2011 patents (3.4%) were filed in 2003 or before. The longest pending patent to issue in 2011 is U.S. Patent No. 7,898,454 on Radar Jamming method and Apparatus, which was filed on May 9, 1966.
Written by Bryan K. Wheelock