Trademark Crush: A Perfect Storm is Threatening U.S. Trademark Applicants
Recently, USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks David Gooder wrote on the USPTO Director’s Forum Blog that registrations for U.S. trademarks are up 63% from the same period in 2020. The USPTO received over 92,600 trademark applications in December 2020 alone. This has caused delays in a number of stages in the trademark process, including a current pendency of 75 days (as of July 5, 2021) for the Pre-Examination Unit of a TEAS application. This is compared to a ten-day target. The USPTO also reached a dubious milestone in Q4 2020, breaking the 1 million mark in pending applications, with 1,002,768 in the queue. This has affected trademark registrants from the very beginning of the application process. First Action Pendency (months) in Q1 of 2020 was 2.8 months. For Q1 2021, the pendency was up to 4.0 months, with Q2 trending to almost five months for First Action. Delays like these affect the ability of trademark owners to protect their brands, could cause an increase in consumer confusion and impact the value of legitimate trademarks.