Are We Running Out of Trademarks?

As we enter the last quarter in 2021, it’s important to assess the current trademark landscape before you begin finalizing your initiatives for the remainder of the year. Let’s examine one of the most notable trademark trends that we witnessed this past year. 

 

Running Out of Trademarks? 

One of the most prominent industry observations in trademarking currently is the amount of trademark applications submitted growing year over year. In 2014, there were roughly 350,000 trademark applications filed; in 2020 that number had grown to over 650,000 applications. Considering this exponential growth, it stands to reason that number will be even higher by the time 2021 comes to a close. 

 

However, this massive number of applications raises a very important question: will we run out of trademarks? In the last few years, many companies have had to settle for their second choices when it comes to a mark, resulting in less competitively viable names hitting the marketplace. A large percentage of these trademark applications originated in China, suggesting that an increasingly global market is affecting brands around the world. 

 

It is also worth considering the massive amount of existing trademarks registered by the USTPO over the years. Existing marks will block the registration of new ones, even if the person or organization who initially registered the mark has abandoned it. This has caused the trademark registry to become somewhat backlogged, though audit problems have decreased the number of blockages in recent years. 

 

How This Affects You 

The massive increase in trademark applications and approvals means that chances are rapidly decreasing for companies worldwide that they’ll get the approved trademark they want. However, tools are coming to help those attempting to register a trademark; the USTPO will allow registrants to challenge existing trademark registrations on the basis of non-use in December 2021. 

 

Even with these tools and insights, registering a properly vetted trademark that’s also on target from a branding perspective can be difficult in increasingly crowded markets. That’s where hiring a niche branding agency that’s deeply familiar with the ins and outs of the branding industry comes in more than handy. 

 

Get in touch with the Brandsymbol team here to speak with our trademarking experts to help your business get your ideal trademark the first time.