According to the Patently-O Blog, the Patent Office provided the law firm of Sughrue Mion notice that a recently filed application will receive examination within 165 months (13.75 years). The notice associated the delay with a backlog in this particular area of the Patent Office; most likely, the area of business method patents.
How much do you estimate 2004 internet technology is going to be worth in 2020? If it were a truly pioneering invention everyone was using it could be worth trillions. Most likely, however, 99% or more of the internet-related patents filed today relate to technology which will be obsolete in less than a decade. Born in 1997 with the State Street decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the recent judicial backlash against internet patent holders seeking injunctions, combined with the Patent Office allowing internet patents to die a slow bureaucratic death, could kill internet patents before they can reach their tenth birthday.