75 statistics on registered trademarks in the United States and the state of the U.S. trademark register for 2024

75 statistics on registered trademarks in the United States and the state of the U.S. trademark register for 2024

  • 26 April, 2024
  • Nyall Engfield

75 statistics on registered trademarks in the United States and the state of the U.S. trademark register

Here are 75 statistics on registered trademarks in the United States and the state of the U.S. trademark register:

  1. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for registering trademarks in the U.S.
  2. As of 2022, there were over 2.5 million active trademark registrations in the United States. As of the most recent data in Q2 2024, there are 3,218,256 active trademark registrations in the U.S. Trademark Register.
  3. In fiscal year 2022, the USPTO received 753,926 new trademark application filings. It received 737,018 in 2023 and by Q2 2024 had already received 367,322 applications for 2024.
  4. The oldest continually used trademark in the world is believed to be the red triangle symbol used by the Bass Brewery in England.

    The Bass Brewery, founded in 1777, started using the iconic red triangle logo on its cask ales and promotional materials in the 1870s. The simple triangle design was originally used as a brewer's mark to distinguish their ales from others.

    The red triangle quickly became an easily recognizable brand marker for the Bass ales, and the brewery officially registered it as a trademark in 1875. This makes the Bass red triangle one of the first trademarks ever issued in the world.

  5. Trademark registrations in the U.S. are valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely. Some of the oldest and most famous are Coca-Cola (first use 1892). Heinz (first use 1869). Levi's (first use 1873), Nabisco (first use 1898), Quaker Oats (first use 1877).
  6. California had the highest number of trademark registrations by state in 2022, with over 250,000 active registrations.New York and Texas ranked second and third in terms of the highest number of trademark registrations by state. By Population, California is first, followed by Texas, Florida and then NY.
  7. The "Nice Classification" system divides goods and services into 45 different classes for trademark registration purposes.

    One notable fact is that Nice Class 33 covers alcoholic beverages except beers. This means that wines, spirits like vodka and whiskey, and alcoholic cocktail mixes would all fall under Class 33 when registering trademarks for these products.

    However, beers are classified separately under Nice Class 32, along with other non-alcoholic beverages like mineral waters, fruit juices and soft drinks.

    This separation of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages into different classes dates back to the origins of the Nice Classification in 1957. It reflects the historical importance and distinct nature of beer and alcohol products in trade and commerce.

  8. Class 9 (computer software and hardware) had the highest number of trademark registrations in 2022.
  9. The most common type of trademark registered in the U.S. is a word mark.
  10. The USPTO has a "Principal Register" and a "Supplemental Register" for trademarks. About 10% of trademarks register on the Supplemental.
  11. Trademarks on the Principal Register receive greater legal protection than those on the Supplemental Register, because they are considered distinctive rather than descriptive.
  12. In 2022, the USPTO issued 395,499 trademark registration certificates.  414,043 marks registered in 2023, and in Q2 2024 there had already been 219,113 registrations of trademark applications.
  13. The USPTO employs over 600 trademark examining attorneys to review and process trademark applications.

    At major trademark offices like the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), applications are not randomly distributed to examiners. Instead, they are assigned based on the specific nice classification of the goods/services in the application.

    This means an examiner may end up reviewing hundreds or thousands of applications solely related to a particular nice class over the course of their career. For example, an examiner may primarily review applications in Class 25 (Clothing) or Class 9 (Computer Software).

    As a result, these examiners gain deep familiarity with the products, terminology, marketing practices and nuances of their assigned classification areas. They become experts in assessing trademarks for those specific types of goods/services.

  14. The average cost of a trademark registration in the U.S. is around $275 per class of goods or services. Even though the official fee in TEAS PLUS is $250, some applications use TEAS Standard ($350) or have multiple classes.
  15. The USPTO maintains an online database called the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) for searching registered trademarks.
  16. The USPTO has a "Trademark Trial and Appeal Board" (TTAB) that handles trademark disputes and appeals.
  17. In 2022, the TTAB received 6,759 new cases, including oppositions, cancellations, and appeals.
  18. The "Madrid Protocol" allows trademark owners to seek protection in multiple countries through a single application.
  19. In 2022, the U.S. received 40,912 trademark applications filed through the Madrid Protocol system.
  20. The USPTO has a "Trademark Assistance Center" that provides information and resources to the public. It's the main source of updates for your trademark and for information on the USPTO system, and there is actually a live operator you can call!
  21. The USPTO's trademark operations are funded entirely by user fees, not taxpayer dollars. It's the most profitable of all government departments!
  22. Trademark protection in the U.S. can arise through use (common law) or through registration with the USPTO.
  23. Registered trademarks are marked with the ® symbol, while unregistered trademarks can use the ™ symbol.
  24. The USPTO has established a "Trademark Modernization Act" to address various issues related to trademark registration and enforcement.
  25. The average age of a registered trademark in the U.S. is around 12 years.
  26. The "Lanham Act" is the primary federal statute governing trademark law in the United States. An often overlooked fact is that the Act also provides for the registration of certain non-traditional trademarks, beyond just word marks and logos. These include sounds, scents, colors, motions, and even textures or shapes, provided they meet the distinctiveness criteria. For example, some famous non-traditional marks that have been registered include:
    • The NBC chimes sound mark
    • The pinkish-purple color for Owens-Corning fibreglass insulation
    • The green-yellow color for Qualitex dry cleaning press pads
    • The luminescent red color for the soles of Christian Louboutin shoes
  27. The USPTO offers an "Intent-to-Use" (ITU) application process, allowing applicants to file before using the mark in commerce. They must show that the mark is in use within max. three years after receiving the Notice of Allowance.
  28. In 2022, around 60% of new trademark applications filed with the USPTO were ITU applications.
  29. The USPTO has a "Trademark Status & Document Retrieval" (TSDR) system for accessing and retrieving trademark file histories.
  30. The USPTO has established a "Trademark Binning" initiative to improve the consistency and quality of trademark examination. Trademark binning refers to the process of grouping or "binning" trademark applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) based on certain criteria before they are assigned to trademark examining attorneys for review.

    Specifically, trademark binning involves:

    1. Categorizing applications based on the nice classification of the goods/services listed in the application.
    2. Further sub-categorizing applications within each nice class based on precisely descriptive categories or "bins" related to the specific product/service.
  31. In 2022, the USPTO received over 1.5 million trademark maintenance and renewal filings.
  32. The USPTO has a "Trademark Monitoring Service" that allows trademark owners to monitor their marks and potential conflicts.
  33. The USPTO has a "Trademark Electronic Application System" (TEAS) for filing and managing trademark applications online.
  34. The USPTO offers a "Trademark Assistance Program" that provides pro bono legal assistance to eligible individuals and businesses.

    Here's how the program works:

    1. Eligibility: The program is open to all applicants filing trademark applications pro se (without an attorney). There are no income requirements.
    2. Request process: Applicants can request assistance by calling the USPTO's Trademark Assistance Center or indicating on their application form that they want help from the program.
    3. Involvement: If requested, an attorney from the Trademark Assistance Program will review the applicant's application before it is assigned to an examining attorney.
    4. Guidance provided: The program attorney can provide general information about the application process and requirements. They can also review the specific application and provide guidance on potential issues or refusals the examining attorney may raise based on initial analysis.
    5. Official examination: The guidance is advisory only. Once the application is filed, it goes through the normal examination process by a trademark examining attorney who makes the final determination.

    The key purpose is to provide pro se applicants some basic counseling to understand potential pitfalls before examination and improve the quality of unrepresented filings upfront.However, the program attorneys cannot provide the same comprehensive advice as a hired trademark attorney throughout the  entire prosecution process after filing.

  35. The USPTO has established a "Trademark Validity Protection System" to address issues related to fraudulent or inaccurate trademark registrations.
  36. The "International Trademark Association" (INTA) is a leading organization representing trademark owners and professionals globally.
  37. The USPTO has a "Trademark Pilot Program" that allows for expedited examination of certain applications for an additional fee.

    Here's how the pilot program works:

    1. Participants: The program involves a subset of private trademark practitioners (attorneys/firms) who volunteered to participate.
    2. Application assignments: For trademark applications filed by the participating practitioners, the USPTO assigns them to a specific group of examining attorneys dedicated to the pilot program.
    3. Enhanced communications: The pilot program allows more extensive communications between the examining attorneys and the participating practitioners compared to normal prosecution. This includes:
      • Interviews to discuss refusals/requirements before office actions are issued
      • The ability to submit proposed amendments along with responses
      • Early resolution conferences to resolve outstanding issues
    4. Expedited reviews: The USPTO aims to provide expedited examination timelines for applications in the pilot compared to normal processing.
    5. Data collection: Extensive data is collected throughout the pilot, such as pendency periods, number of office actions, approval rates, interview occurrences, etc.

    The primary goals are to gauge if increased communications and collaborative efforts between examiners and applicants can enhance quality, reduce prosecution times, and facilitate dispute resolution earlier in the process.

    The pilot is currently slated to run for a set period to gather enough data before the USPTO evaluates potential permanent process changes based on the results and feedback received.

  38. The "Trademark Technical and Conforming Amendment Act" (TTCA) was passed in 1998 to update U.S. trademark law, and it provides for the ability to file applications for trademarks and service marks based on a "intent-to-use" basis, even if the mark was not actually being used in commerce yet.
  39. The USPTO offers a "Trademark Pretrial Discovery" process for resolving disputes before formal litigation. Pretrial discovery allows the parties to compel disclosure of relevant information and prepare for trial by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each side's evidence beforehand.
  40. The "Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure" (TMEP) is a comprehensive guide used by USPTO trademark examining attorneys.
  41. The USPTO has established a "Trademark Fraud Rule" to address fraudulent or inaccurate claims in trademark applications.
  42. The "Trademark Modernization Act of 2020" introduced several changes to U.S. trademark law and practice.
  43. The USPTO has a "Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure" (TBMP) that governs TTAB proceedings.
  44. The "Trademark Sameness of Use" doctrine is applied to determine whether two marks are used for related goods or services.
  45. The USPTO offers a "Trademark Email Notification Service" that provides updates on trademark applications and registrations.
  46. The "Trademark Clearing House" is a centralized database for recording and accessing trademark data.

    The main purposes of the TMCH are:

    1. To authenticate and validate data from rights holders about their trademark rights.
    2. To serve as a repository of authenticated trademark data.
    3. To provide services that help new gTLD registries and registrars in clearing second-level domain names to avoid conflicts with trademark holders' rights.

    Specifically, when a new gTLD is launched, the TMCH allows trademark owners to record their marks through a single submission. This "Trademark Claims" service then notifies both the rights holders and prospective domain registrants if a second-level domain name matches a recorded trademark.

    The TMCH also offers a "Sunrise" service where trademark holders can register domain names corresponding to their marks before general registration opens.

  47. The USPTO has established a "Trademark Quality Review" process to ensure consistent and accurate examination.
  48. The "Trademark Geographic Indication" is a type of certification mark that identifies goods as originating from a specific geographic region. This is commonly used for wines and cheeses, for example.
  49. The "Trademark Collective Membership Mark" is used to indicate membership in a particular organization or association.
  50. In 2022, the USPTO received over 3,000 applications for trademark extensions of protection under the Madrid Protocol.
  51. The USPTO has a "Trademark Opposition" process that allows third parties to challenge the registration of a trademark.
  52. The "Trademark Cancellation" process allows for the cancellation of an existing trademark registration under certain circumstances.
  53. The "Trademark Renewal" process is required to maintain a trademark registration beyond its initial 10-year term.
  54. The USPTO has established a "Trademark Assignment" process for transferring ownership of a trademark registration.
  55. The "Trademark Descriptiveness" doctrine prohibits the registration of marks that are merely descriptive of the goods or services.
  56. The "Trademark Likelihood of Confusion" test is used to determine if two marks are confusingly similar.
  57. The USPTO has a "Trademark Specimens Database" that contains examples of how marks are used in commerce.
  58. The "Trademark Fair Use" doctrine allows the use of another's trademark in certain limited circumstances.

    There are two main types of trademark fair use:

    1. Descriptive Fair Use This allows using a trademarked term in good faith to describe one's own product or service, rather than as a trademark. For example, using the term "Apple" to describe the fruit in selling apple pies would be descriptive fair use.
    2. Nominative Fair Use
      This permits using another's trademark to refer to the trademark owner's actual goods or services. For example, an automobile repair shop saying "We repair BMW cars" nominatively uses BMW's mark to indicate they work on that brand.

    For trademark fair use to apply, some general conditions must be met:

    • The use must be in good faith and not suggest sponsorship/endorsement by the trademark owner
    • Only so much of the mark may be used as is reasonably necessary
    • The use must be fair and not deceptively misleading
  59. The USPTO offers a "Trademark Pilot Program – COVID-19 Prioritized Examination" for expedited examination related to COVID-19 goods and services.
  60. The "Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Evidence" rules govern the submission and admissibility of evidence in TTAB proceedings.
  61. The "Trademark Co-existence Agreement" is a contract between parties allowing the concurrent use of similar marks.
  62. The USPTO has a "Trademark Fraud Program" to investigate and address fraudulent trademark filings and registrations.
  63. The "Trademark Notice of Allowance" is issued by the USPTO when a trademark application meets all legal requirements for registration.
  64. The "Trademark Statement of Use" is required to be filed after an Intent-to-Use application has been approved.
  65. The USPTO maintains a "Trademark Official Gazette" (TMOG) that publishes information about trademark applications and registrations.
  66. The "Trademark Certification Mark" is used to certify that goods or services meet certain standards or requirements.
  67. The USPTO has a "Trademark Examiner's Guide to Substantive Examination of Marks" TMEP that provides guidance for examining attorneys.
  68. The "Trademark Supplemental Register" is used for marks that are descriptive or have acquired distinctiveness through use.
  69. The USPTO offers a "Trademark Accelerated Examination" option for obtaining a trademark registration more quickly, for an additional fee.

    Under this program, applicants can receive a faster examination of their trademark applications by meeting certain requirements. Here are some key points about the program:

    1. Faster Processing: The main advantage of the Accelerated Examination program is that it significantly shortens the time it takes for an application to be examined. Typically, the USPTO aims to complete the examination of an accelerated trademark application within three months from the filing date, compared to the standard examination time, which can take much longer.

    2. Pre-Examination Search and Analysis: To qualify for Accelerated Examination, the applicant must conduct a pre-examination search and provide an analysis of potentially conflicting marks. This search must cover federal registrations, federal applications, state registrations, and common law uses. The applicant must analyze each relevant result and explain why their proposed mark does not conflict with these prior marks.

    3. Comprehensive Filing: The application must be complete at the time of filing. This includes a properly completed application form, the required fees, specimens showing the use of the mark in commerce, and the pre-examination search and analysis.

    4. Petition to Make Special: The applicant must file a Petition to Make Special under the Accelerated Examination program, explaining why the application meets the program’s requirements. This petition is in addition to the normal application and requires an additional fee.

    5. Limited Amendments: Once the application has been filed under the Accelerated Examination program, the ability to make amendments to the application is restricted. This is to ensure that the examination process remains swift.

  70. The "Trademark Consent Agreement" is a document that allows for the registration of similar marks by different parties.
  71. The USPTO has established a "Trademark Mediation" program to help resolve disputes before formal TTAB proceedings.
  72. The "Trademark Priority Date" is the date used to establish the priority of a trademark application or registration.
  73. The "Trademark Dilution" doctrine protects famous trademarks from dilution or tarnishment by others.
  74. The USPTO has a "Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Reading Room" that provides access to TTAB decisions and resources.
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