In August 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reported a backlog of 591,665 patent applications waiting to be examined and an average total pendency (time from filing to end of examination) of 29.4 months.
Whether the process is performed by an independent inventor or a corporate entity that regularly files U.S. patent applications, having a patent application(s) drafted, filed, and prosecuted involves a substantial investment in invention development time and costs, as well as legal expenses. An additional emotional investment is often based on the hope that pursuing and protecting the invention(s) will result in financial rewards.
Under the provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will allow the general public to become involved with the examination of pending patent applications owned by third parties
On September 16, 2012, a number of the provisions of the American Invents Act (also referred to as the “Patent Reform Act of 2011”) will take place. One of the provisions will allow assignees of inventions to file U.S. patent applications.
Patent attorneys have unique educational backgrounds relative to attorneys in other legal specialty areas. For example, many patent attorneys have advanced science or engineering degrees. Those with engineering degrees are