2012 Was a “Banner Year” for Trademarks

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, FY 2012 was a “banner year” for trademarks. The agency reports that more new trademark applications were filed than any other year and the number of trademarks in continuous use exceeded 1.8 million registered marks. In addition, total new classes climbed to over 415,000, representing an increase of 4.1% over the previous fiscal year and more than 13,600 higher than the record level last set in 2008.

The USPTO has also updated its Trademarks performance dashboard to reflect 2012 performance results. With regard to trademark quality, the USPTO surpassed its targets in First Action Quality, Final Action Quality, and the newest category of Exceptional Office Action. The measures evaluate the examiner’s decision-making, writing, evidence, and search strategy at the different steps of the trademark process.

In terms of pendency, the USPTO indicated that pendency to registration continues to remain at historically low levels. First action pendency has stayed between 2.5 and 3.5 months from filing, according to the USPTO. Disposal pendency—the time from when an application is filed until a trademark is registered or abandoned—has also been under 12 months for the past three years. The USPTO largely credits the greater acceptance of electronic filing and use of TEAS Plus applications for enhancing it efficiency.

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