“only about 30% of cases are receiving a first office action within the 14 months allotted by Congress. I’ll note here that the PTA does not ‘cost’ the USPTO anything in terms of up-front money and, may make it more likely that the patentee will pay the issue and back-end maintenance fees.”
Several things here.
First, let’s not be glib as to that 14 months being a part of an expected deal (to Congress) in preserving the (US Sovereign) notion that the Quid Pro Quo is for a granted patent in exchange for shared (and then publicized) inventor disclosure. Decidedly, the US does not share any ROW view that the QPQ exchange is publication for a mere chance at patent rights. There is NO sense of “we get to take the quo and share what you have with your quid being you are permitted to apply for a patent.”
Such may be the deal other Sovereigns have put out there, but that is decidedly NOT the US deal.
That 14 month mark was intended to give the applicant ample time to review a first (and complete) examination result, with which to evaluate going ahead with the patent process or abandoning (with abandonment removing the ‘existence’ of the applicant’s disclosure from written history).
Second, looking at the situation as “not costing the USPTO any money” is more than crass in evaluating what Congress expected. It is a not-so-subtle way of reneging on the deal that underpins the US patent system. “Cost” may not be in dollars, but make no mistake that “cost” is indeed involved.
Third, There is no indications in any sense of facts on the record to support the assertion that NOT living up to the deal “may make it more likely that the patentee will pay the issue and back-end maintenance fees.”
That statement is beyond ludicrous.