Rising Number of Patents has Ripple Effect
According to an article in the Des Moines Business Record, the United States Patent & Trademark Office estimates that there is a backlog of 600,000 patent applications awaiting to be assigned patent examiners, and that another 100,000 applications will be filed this year.
In response to these higher numbers, the United States Patent & Trademark Office has almost doubled the fees for the numbers of claims and pages in patent applications. They have also enacted a search fee that used to be part of the application fee, but now is a separate charge. These increases could easily exceed $1500 for small businesses.
These increased patent filing fees are making applicants and/or their attorneys more conscious of the amount of pages and claims, as well as the legal discussion of what the intellectual property right entails.
The amount of time it takes to review a patent application has practially doubled as well. This is also due to the fact that the United States Patent & Trademark Office is scrutinizing patent applications more closely, and applying broader restriction requirements.
I recommend you consult with a patent attorney to guide you through the ever increasing complexities of dealing with the United States Patent & Trademark Office during the patent application process.