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The Number of Claims and the Grant Lag

Why does it take so long to get a patent?  The time lag between when a patent application is filed and when the patent is granted currently averages 33.7 months or 2.8 years.  To many inventors, that seems like a long time. 

This subject was analyzed in a 2003 paper Time in Pergatory: Determinants of the Grant Lag for US Patent Applications.  The paper was written by David Popp, Ted Juhl and…