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 2018 report (all 218 pages of it) and pulled out the stats we found interesting.


  • In the last five years, trademark volume has increased 40%, while pendency (time waiting for a decision on if a mark is accepted or rejected) decreased 2%.
  • 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, Nevada, California, and Wyoming (If you don’t count D.C., New York sneaks into the top five.)

Trademark Growth Over Time

Between 2014 and 2018, the number of trademarks filings with the USPTO has increased 40% to over 638,000. 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 2% to 9.6 months.

Trademark Registrations By State (2018)

With hundreds of thousands of trademarks being filed by US residents in 2018, 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:

  1. California – 38,608
  2. New York – 18,013
  3. Florida – 14,269
  4. Texas – 12,819
  5. Illinois – 7,160
  6. New Jersey – 6,339
  7. Georgia – 5,582
  8. Pennsylvania – 5,437
  9. Ohio – 4,912
  10. Colorado – 4,628

Compared to 2017, Virginia fell out of the top ten, and Colorado entered the top list. VA saw nearly 1,000 less trademarks registered than in 2017, a decline of just over 17%.

Of course, it stands to reason that the states with the most residents will likely end up with the most trademarks. New Jersey and Colorado are the only states in the top ten that do not also fall into the top ten states by population. This got us wondering – what are the top states by trademarks per million residents?

2018 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:

  1. District of Columbia – 2,142
  2. Delaware – 1,710
  3. Nevada – 1,009
  4. California – 976
  5. Wyoming – 957
  6. New York – 922
  7. Utah – 835
  8. Colorado – 813
  9. New Jersey – 712
  10. Florida – 670
  11. Massachusetts (Bonus, in case you don’t want to count D.C.) – 656

We see smaller states/districts like the District of Columbia, Delaware, and Wyoming, 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 40% of the top states by the population adjusted figures in 2018 are in the North East portion of the US.


Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author:

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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