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2021 Patent Activity in USPTO Art Unit 1600*

July-September  |  April-June  |  January-March

Patent Activity in USPTO Art Unit 1600*

Below are assessments of US patent activity throughout calendar year 2021. We provide charts with year-over-year comparisons of patents granted on a monthly basis in each of the past four calendar years – with a fifth column for the average across time periods. As we continue through the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, we at Mintz are interested to know the impact of the virus on activity at the USPTO, and are first looking at grant activity. We will be reviewing and providing thoughts on filings in the Life Sciences space during this period over time as well.

2018 15,288
2019 14,212
2020 14,360
2021 13,482


Q3 Assessment (July-September)

Patent grants for the 3rd quarter of 2021 lag behind the previous quarter of the year as well as the 3rd quarter for the prior three years.

While grants were significantly lower in July compared to the previous quarter, grant activity was particularly high during August. August 2021 was not only higher than August levels in previous years but also the highest month of patent grant issuances thus far in 2021. However, patent issuances fell over 32% from August to September 2021, thereby returning to levels comparable to July. Overall, the total number of patent issuances during the third quarter of 2021 lies between quarterly totals for the first and second quarters of the year.

2021 Q3 Patent Grants Art Unit 1600


1st Half Assessment (January-June)

Patent Grants for the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2021 lag behind the past quarters of 2020 and are measurably below half-year totals for 2019 and 2018. Thus, 2021 has lower grant totals across the first half of the year than previous years.

March was a good month for grants as compared to prior years but was preceded by two months of below-average activity. January was a particularly slow month, falling well below average and individual amounts for each prior year.

It is interesting to note that while grants were significantly up in March, they dropped significantly in April – this unusual decrease occurred in 2020 as well. However, similar to the 2020 pattern, grant totals recovered in June 2021 and boosted the second quarter average.

While grant activity in calendar year 2021 started at a slower pace than previous years, activity in Art Unit 1600 is abundant and has increased over the past quarter.

2nd quarter 2021 patent grants - Art Unit 1600


1st quarter 2021 patent grants - Art Unit 1600

View 2020 activity