Based on the backlog of 660,000 patents (latest numbers from the USTPO), if every one was granted; it would take 18 years.
So of course that’s nuts.
The reality is that of those 660,000, 85% will be rejected, and over a 3 year period 100,000 patents will be issued.
Here is the rub that some patent attorneys sometimes fail to inform their clients, the USPTO has reported that 3% or less of the 35,000 patents issued every year (based on 8 million patents issued in the last 224 years) make any money at all for the inventor.
The company I worked for introduced 80-125 new products a year for the 22 years I worked there, approximately 2200, 13 were patented. The revenue threshold was $250,000 per year for a product introduction. First to market, our business model and trade secrets were our advantage over our competition.
The reality is, a Patent is the optimum way to protect IP, but it makes for a tough way to make a living