The State of Trademarks in the U.S.
Every year, the USPTO releases it’s Performance and Accountability Report (PAR), covering a wide range of various stats and statistics. We read the 2017 report (all 208 pages of it) and pulled out the stats we found interesting.
- In the last five years, trademark volume has increased 37%, while pendency (time waiting for a decision on if a mark is accepted or rejected) decreased 5%.
- Unsurprisingly, California, New York, Florida, and Texas were the leading states by residents registering for trademark protection.
- When we normalized for population, the five leading states were The District of Columbia, Delaware, California, Nevada, and New York (If you don’t count D.C., Connecticut sneaks into the top five.)
Trademark Growth Over Time
Between 2013 and 2017, the number of trademarks filings with the USPTO has increased 37% to over 594,000. What was really impressive when digging through this data was that over the same period, the average pendency (time waiting for a decision on if a mark is accepted or rejected) decreased by 5% to 9.5 months.
Trademark Registrations By State (2017)
With hundreds of thousands of trademarks being filed by US residents in 2017, we were interested to see where they were coming from.
Unsurprisingly, the largest states also had the most trademarks being registered by their residents. The top ten stats are:
- California – 36,514
- New York – 16,982
- Florida – 13,171
- Texas – 12,169
- Illinois – 6.839
- New Jersey – 6,030
- Virginia – 5,203
- Georgia – 5,121
- Pennsylvania – 5,071
- Ohio – 4,513
Of course, it stands to reason that the states with the most residents will likely end up with the most trademarks. New Jersey is the only state in the top ten that does not also fall into the top ten states by population. This got us wondering – what are the top states by trademarks per million residents?
2017 Trademarks By State, Per Million Residents
Once we normalized for population, things got much more interesting.
The top ten states by trademarks per million residents for 2017 are:
- District of Columbia – 2,452
- Delaware – 1,589
- California – 930
- Nevada – 884
- New York – 860
- Connecticut – 740
- Utah – 700
- New Jersey – 674
- Massachusetts – 653
- Vermont – 644
- Florida (Bonus, in case you don’t want to count D.C.) – 639
We see smaller states/districts like the District of Columbia, Delaware and Vermont, which are all in the bottom seven states by population, over-index in terms of registered trademarks.
Another surprising statistic that jumped out was that 70% of the top states by the population adjusted figures in 2017 are in the North East portion of the US.
Sources and a Note on Errors in the USPTO 2017 PAR
- For US population by state, we utilized the July 2016 estimate available here: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population
- Trademarks filed and registered both by year and by state level residency of the registrant we found in the 2017 USPTO PAR document, which can be viewed at: https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USPTOFY17PAR.pdf
- Corrections were necessary, as there appears to be typos/errors in the 2017 report.
- For example, on page 186 the report claims that residents of West Virginia filed for 420 trademarks, yet somehow managed to successfully register 2,414 in the same period.
- When there were clear errors, a search of the TESS was conducted at USPTO.gov. The count of occurrences of a state in the address field of the registrant was used in lieu of having definitive data from the USPTO.