Highlights of USPTO Performances and Initiatives FY 2021-FY 2022

Related Practices

Attorneys & Professionals

Yesterday senior U.S. Patent and Trademark (USPTO) officials reported on performance of the Office before the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC).  The reports covered activities in FY 2021 (which occurred in an active pandemic) and expectations for FY 2022.  These included trends in application filings, extensive continuation practice data, reexamination, reissue and ex parte appeals before the PTAB.

First, let’s look at the surprises and then the highlights.

Five Surprises

  1. 62% increase in the number of new requests for ex parte reexamination in FY 2021.
  2. 17.6% increase in design patent application filings in FY 2021.
  3. 3x – The number of continuation applications filed has tripled in a decade.
  4. 9% decrease in the number of provisional applications filed.
  5. 5% decrease in number of RCEs filed - on top of a 9% decrease the previous year.


More Highlights

Here are more highlights most relevant to companies, inventors, and stakeholders.  The information falls into two buckets:  Metrics and Initiatives.

Metrics FY 2021

Utility Applications

Continuation Practice

See graphs and data at:


Ex parte Reexamination


See graphs and data at:



Ex parte Appeals

PTAB Virtual Hearings

Resources and reports

More information and reports on Office performance and initiatives are available as follows:

  1. USPTO Annual Report including FY2021, https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/performance-and-planning/uspto-annual-reports
  2. PPAC Quarterly Meeting and Agenda, https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/events/attend-patent-public-advory-committee-quarterly-meeting-9
  3. USPTO Enhanced Outreach to Historically Underserved Innovators, https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/20211116-PPAC-Enhanced-outreach-programming-and-storytelling-initiatives.pdf
  4. Federal Legislative Activity Update, https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/20211116-PPAC-Legislative-update.pdf
  5. Legal Updates WIPO/PCT, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/20211116-PPAC-International-update.pdf