Takeaway: There has been an unforeseen surge in U.S. trademark filings over the last year causing delays in processing, and the USPTO is working to implement new technology for faster application processing.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, trademark applications from both U.S. and foreign applicants have reached unprecedented heights.
The USPTO states that in December 2020 alone, the office received an increase of 172% over December 2019 in trademark applications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people found themselves at home with extra time on their hands, which may explain this drastic increase from both domestic and foreign filers. Another possible reason for the increase may be that many people who left their workplaces during the height of the pandemic ventured out to start their own businesses.
Regardless of the reason for this spike, delays at the USPTO are not only expected but probable. To combat this unforeseen surge, the USPTO claims to be implementing informational technology solutions and system enhancements to process applications faster.