Still Smooth Sailing in Trademarks

Guest blog by USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks Deborah Cohn

Our dashboard showcasing performance in Trademarks for the third quarter of the fiscal year is out and you’ll notice that we added a new metric to highlight some meaningful differences in pendency based on how the application is filed. As you may know, applicants have several filing options to consider when they register their trademark – paper filing, electronic filing using the TEAS or the TEAS Plus form, and filing through the Madrid system for international registrations. Applicants who wish to reduce the time for approval of a mark for registration should consider the method of filing in order to best meet their needs.

TEAS Plus applications require additional information at the time of filing but in return receive the best overall pendency. As the dashboard shows, more TEAS Plus applications receive first action approval from our examining attorneys than any other type of filing.

Overall, our record performance for pendency over the past five years continues. First action pendency has stayed in the range of our goal to issue a first action between 2.5 and 3.5 months from filing. As I’ve noted in the past, our record performance is the result of a number of factors including greater use of the systems, tools, and resources necessary to manage new application filings electronically and by having dedicated and qualified people to manage them well. When you look at our performance dashboard for the third quarter you’ll see how well we are meeting our target goals.
Despite a five percent increase in new application filings, trademark pendency to registration continues to remain at historically low levels. Disposal pendency – the time from when an application is filed until a trademark is registered or abandoned – has been under 12 months for the past eight quarters in a row. Again, this is due in part to the increase in electronic processing, which now comprises 76 percent of all trademark applications filed, processed and disposed.