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Delays in USPTO Trademark Applications

Posted by Michael Rada | Aug 05, 2021

One of the most common questions asked by trademark clients is, "how long will my trademark application take?" Unfortunately, over recent months this answer has become more and more discouraging. Pre-Covid, it was possible to see an application go from date of application to registration in less than a year. Now (as of August, 2021) we are seeing applications take approximately 18 months! Unfortunately there are generally no ways to expedite the process.

So, What's driving this delay in the trademark application lifecycle? 

In a recent blog post dated June 23, 2021, the Director of the USPTO reported the following:

Since last fall, trademark applications from U.S. and foreign applicants have surged to unprecedented levels. As of June 17, the increase is roughly 63% over last year, which translates to about 211,000 more applications. And in December 2020 alone, the USPTO received 92,608 trademark applications, an increase of 172% over December 2019. This surge has doubled the number of applications waiting to be examined and increased waiting times at various stages in our processes. As a result, applicants may have to wait longer for initial processing of their application, receiving an office action, processing of responses to office actions, and reviewing of post-registration filings.

There are likely a variety of reasons why this is happening, such as an increase in non-US registrations, an increase in new "start-up" businesses that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and a variety of other reasons.

The USPTO website is a good reference for the current status on this situation. You can read their trademark timeline page here. Also, you can click here to see the latest USPTO trademark dashboard that gives current statistics on number of trademark applications processed, registrations and other interesting metrics. 

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About the Author

Michael Rada

​Michael Rada is the owner-attorney of the Law Offices of Michael Rada, LLC. He is admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois. Michael also can practice trademark law in all 50 states as trademarks are covered by federal law. ​Michael's practice is f...


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