The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today unveiled its online “Data Visualization Center,” a graphic-driven window to backlogs, office actions and other workings of the world’s busiest IP agency.


According to the press release:

“We have just launched the beta version of a USPTO Data Visualization Center on our Web site thatintroduces the patents dashboard.  This tool will give the public access to traditional measures of pendency as well as several new pendency tracking measures.  We are also providing other importantdata covering USPTO patent operations in a convenient dashboard format.  The patents dashboard provides more refined pendency information than was previously available, as well as other critical performance indicators such as the number of applications in the backlog, production, actions per disposal and our staffing levels.  This information will help the entire IP community to better understand our processes, and enable applicants to make more informed decisions about their applications, especially as we develop more opportunities for applicants to control the timing at which their applications are examined.  The new dashboard, which will be updated monthly, will also be used internally by the USPTO to analyze and improve our examination process and to track the effectiveness of our improvement efforts.  We intend to further refine the dashboard and welcome your input about ways we can improve it.  A dedicated mailbox has been set up for your comments and we intend to monitor your feedback carefully.

The dashboard introduces six new measures of pendency designed to give a better overall picture of the contributions of different parts of the examination process to application pendency.  For example, the traditional total pendency measure stops the clock with the filing of an RCE, which may not provide an accurate measure of the total time it takes to complete the examination of an application through request for continued examination (RCE) practice.  A new measure, called “Traditional TotalPendency Including RCEs,” looks at pendency of applications from filing of the original application to ultimate disposal of that same application, including any additional time attributable to RCE filings in those applications where RCE filings are made.  Similar measures are provided relative to divisional applications and other types of continuation practice.  We also provide information about pendency for applications in appeal practice…”