While researching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) treatment of final Office actions for previous articles (Part I, Part II and Part III), we noticed too many petition decisions dismissed as moot for it to have happened by chance. Here in Part IV, we examine timely filed petitions that were dismissed as moot because the USPTO decision was inexplicably delayed to such an extent that applicants were forced to take other action to avoid abandonment of their applications. We uncover two different and seemingly arbitrary petition processing pathways within the USPTO: petitions which are promptly entered and decided on their merits or petitions belatedly entered and eventually dismissed as moot. We uncover a strong correlation between the USPTO’s initial petition processing steps, petition pendency and petition outcome. 

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