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   Time to first office action for regular patent app
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   Author  Topic: Time to first office action for regular patent app  (Read 2764 times)
Joe Panico
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Time to first office action for regular patent app
« on: Aug 27th, 2006, 8:09am »
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Hello,
 
I filed a U.S. regular patent application in Feb. 2003 and still
haven't received an office action. The PAIR section of the USPTO
website tells me that my application has been docked to an examiner in
the GAU several times, but it never seems to progress.
 
As an idenpendent inventor, I'm pursuing my patent pro se (without an
attorney or agent), and I'm starting to wonder if I've missed
something. My principal source of information for prosecuting a patent
application is the book: "Patent it yourself".
 
Is a 3+ years wait time for first office action normal now?
 
Any insights much appreciated.
 
thanks,
 
Joe
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Isaac
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Re: Time to first office action for regular patent
« Reply #1 on: Aug 27th, 2006, 8:17am »
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on Aug 27th, 2006, 8:09am, Joe Panico wrote:
Is a 3+ years wait time for first office action normal now?

 
That is unfortunately the norm in some technology area.
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Isaac
Wiscagent
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Re: Time to first office action for regular patent
« Reply #2 on: Aug 27th, 2006, 8:37am »
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The average time to first office action for various technology areas, according to last week’s patent gazette, is listed below.
 
1600    BIOTECHNOLOGY, ORGANIC      27-Jul-04
1700/   CHEMICAL, MATERIALS ENGINEERING, AND DESIGNS          6-Sep-04
2100    COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE SOFTWARE AND 2-Nov-03
2600    COMMUNICATIONS        22-Dec-03
2800    SEMICONDUCTORS, ELECTRICAL AND OPTICAL SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS       21-Feb-05
3600    TRANSPORTATION, ELECTRONIC COMMERCE, CONSTRUCTION, AGRICULTURE,  7-Oct-04
3700    MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, MANUFACTURING AND PRODUCTS  11-Oct-04
 
The technology center with the longest time to first office action is, 3620, Electronic Commerce 8-Nov-02
 
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
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Jonathan
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Re: Time to first office action for regular patent
« Reply #3 on: Aug 27th, 2006, 4:39pm »
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To add to Richard's useful post, those dates, next to each tech. center, are the average filing date of applications examined over the previous few months.
 
To estimate when a particular application will receive a first action, figure out the differential between the particular application's filing date and the average filing date of the tech. center that the particular application was assigned to. Take the differential and add it to today's date to get a rough estimate (+/- a few months) of when the first Office Action will arrive.  
 
There is also a first Action predictor function on PAIR that one can utilize. I am not positive but it may only be available via private PAIR. For recently-filed applications it is quite inaccurate for some reason. I used the predictor a few months back for a recently-filed application and it said 9 years. I went back to the above-described "manual" method and came up with an estimate of 2.5 years.
 
One can also try the classic "Status Inquiry" method by mailing a letter to the patent office for an estimate. From my personal experience with this method, one can expect about a 50% chance of being sent a response.
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Isaac
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Re: Time to first office action for regular patent
« Reply #4 on: Aug 28th, 2006, 6:54am »
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on Aug 27th, 2006, 4:39pm, Jonathan wrote:
To add to Richard's useful post, those dates, next to each tech. center, are the average filing date of applications examined over the previous few months.

 
The average filing dates often vary markedly over the technology areas examined by art units within a technology center.   Also there can be anomalies in the first office action date for applications which are initially improperly qualified.  
 
If you are working extensively with a technology and a particular art unit, you might get a better estimate by tracking the progress of your own applications.
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Isaac
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