Wheel PTO Examiner Profiled

By Eric Goldman

Washington Post runs an amusing but surprisingly insightful story about the PTO’s chief examiner of wheel and axle patents, Russell Stormer. One would think that after 5,500 years, there would be few new inventions in the world of wheels. However, the article points out that the PTO received about 350 applications in these categories last year, and has approved 30,000 wheel patents in total since 1790. Stormer himself reviews 124 wheel-related patents a year and approves about 90 of them (around 75% approval). At 124 applications a year, Stormer averages about 15 hours of attention on each patent application.