Increased Processing Times at USPTO
Due to a recent surge in trademark applications, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is currently experiencing delayed processing times at various stages of the application process. As of June 17, 2021, the USPTO had received 63% more trademark applications this year than during the same period last year. The increase in applications is attributable to, among other things, the rise in e-commerce caused by the pandemic and the growing number of Chinese trademark applications.
Current processing times for reviewing an initial application have increased from approximately 3 months to over 5 months. Processing times for reviewing Office Action responses have increased from approximately 2 weeks to 3 months or more. Processing times for post registration maintenance filings have doubled from approximately 1 month to 2 months or more. A list of current trademark processing wait times can be viewed here.
The USPTO is taking steps to increase productivity by hiring additional examining attorneys and staff, redistributing workload, and implementing IT solutions and system enhancements to process applications faster. The Office anticipates that processing times will eventually return to customary levels.