The USPTO has launched a Petitions Timeline that provides information on the types of petitions that can be filed at each stage of prosecution, the average time to decision and grant rate, and the deciding office. While some of the most interesting petitions may fall under the catch-all categories of “questions not specifically provided for” (petitions under 37 CFR 1.181) and “invoking the supervisory authority of the Director” (petitions under 37 CFR 1.182), the USPTO petitions data do reveal some interesting points.
The USPTO provides the following data on petitions to advance prosecution:
These numbers indicate that while a Track 1 petition has the highest fee, it also has the shortest grant time and highest grant rate. The longer grant times for Accelerated Examination and PPH petitions likely reflect the need to review the petitions more substantively for compliance with the requirements of those programs.
The USPTO provides the following data on petitions challenging examiner decisions:
When considering these average grant times, it is important to keep in mind that filing a petition does not stop the response period clock from running. Thus, petitions need to be filed promptly upon receipt of the offending Office Action, in order to increase the likelihood that a decision will be received before a response has to be filed.
According to the USPTO, petitions for retroactive foreign filing license have an average decision time of 170 days and a grant rate of 36%. Hopefully that low grant rate is for initial petition decisions, since the failure to comply with foreign filing license requirements can prevent the grant of a patent.