I was astonished to learn that there are now over nine hundred thousand pending US trademark applications.
The e-Trademarks listserv is an email discussion group for trademark practitioners with well over a thousand members. Anyone who subscribes to this listserv soon comes to recognize the names of some of the regular contributors, many of whom are very generous with their knowledge and experience. One frequent contributor is Ken Boone, who was an IT specialist at the USPTO from 1992 to 2012, working in the trademark area. If you want to know something about TESS or TSDR, the smart thing is to follow his postings to the listserv.
Today Ken posted that the number of pending US trademark applications has for the first time passed a striking threshold, amounting to more than nine hundred thousand pending applications. For trademark filers, in practical terms this is showing itself in much longer wait times for a newly filed application to reach the desk of an Examining Attorney.
David Gooder, the Commissioner for Trademarks, commented on the recent surge in trademark filings in a June 23, 2021 blog posting on the USPTO web site.
Factors contributing to this surge in filings include:
- A recent change in Amazon Brand Registry’s IP Accelerator program, giving special status to participants based on nothing more than the existence of a pending trademark application.
- Higher levels of e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Increased appreciation by potential filers of the importance of trademark protection given recent high-visibility enforcement litigation.
- Enormous levels of filing activity by certain categories of filers from China.