How To Overcome Trademark Application Delays
June 16, 2021
By: Joshua A. Claybourn and Sarah Carey
The United States trademark system has slowed to a crawl the last two years thanks to increased applications, a global pandemic, and economic turmoil. Before Covid-19 struck, trademark registrations typically took about a year to process. Now the process takes longer than ever, but you may take several steps to ensure your application proceeds as quickly as possible.
An influx of new application filings caused backlog long before the pandemic hit. Filings grew between 3% and 5% per year in the last decade, but in the last two years the growth in filings increased even faster. Once the pandemic hit, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) closed its offices to the public and transitioned its staff to working remotely, feeding an already exacerbated the backlog.
To make matters worse, the USPTO continues experiencing a massive increase in filings from China, due in part to Chinese government subsidies for filing in the U.S. Since many of these filings contain fraud, it complicates and delays the already burdened USPTO system.
Trademark applicants can take steps to improve their application and speed along the process. First, be sure to work with experienced trademark counsel like Jackson Kelly attorneys to file early. An early filing date saves your spot in the registration line.
Second, be sure that your trademark counsel performs a thorough search before you file. A thorough pre-application trademark search can help identify issues and conflicts early on. After your mark gets registered, file renewals as soon as possible. If you wait until the end of the renewal period and a problem arises or more information is required, your renewal period may expire.
Finally, hire an attorney experienced in trademark law. Although many online services offer assistance with trademark applications, a licensed trademark attorney will typically possess important skills needed for navigating the USPTO’s labyrinth trademark system and ensure your trademark gets promptly registered with maximum value.