Q: How long does it normally take for the patent office to review a patent?
A: Congress has asked the USPTO examiners provide a first substantive review (Office Acton) within 14 months. If they do not do so, the patent owner can be awarded extra days at the end of the patent life to compensate for the slow response. This is called Patent Term Adjustment (PTA). Some patent applications receive a first substantive review 3 to 5 years after filing depending on the queue for the specific group of examiners handling that particular type of patent.
Frequently, the process concludes within 3 years of filing the non-provisional patent application but if it does not, you may be awarded PTA.
Likewise PTA is awarded for other missed benchmarks such as a failure to respond back to your response within 4 months. Some patents get more than a thousand days of PTA which shows that the process can move smoothly.
There are ways to accelerate the process such as paying a fee for Track One handling. That will get you a first Office Action within about 4 months and you should wrap up the process in a year.
Sometimes you can take benefit of the Patent Prosecution Highway program if you have had a positive search result in the PCT process.
I have some more information on this topic at https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/accelerating-patent-applications. There are many quirky programs and some are added each year as pilots so you need to check with a patent attorney to see what works for you. You are free to pick a patent attorney with the right skills from anywhere in the country as patent prosecution is covered by a Federal Registration, not a state license.
I hope this helps.
Kevin E Flynn
A: The USPTO publishes a lot of really great statistical data. Check out this site: https://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/patents/main.dashxml.
The answer to your question depends on the art unit of the application that awaits review.
Click on "Pendency Data," then "First Office Action Pendency," and then "View a Comparison …" - https://www.uspto.gov/corda/dashboards/patents/kpis/kpiTCFirstActionPendency.kpixml.
Looks like 11-21 months.
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