USPTO Speed Woes

It’s been a rough year for the impatient.  The average time between filing and initial USPTO trademark examination is now over eight months – nearly double the waiting time of prior years.  Though using the TEAS-PLUS filing system (with standardized descriptions of goods/services) can increase the government’s processing speed, this is largely out of our hands.

One step the USPTO has taken to move things along is a new shorter Office Action response window.  Instead of six, we now have three months to respond to most written communication from Examiners (With a $125 fee, this can be extended to six months.)  For applications originating from other countries under the Madrid Protocol, six months remains the norm.

This change is the latest brought to us by the TM Modernization Act, with its goal of speeding up the overall time from filing to registration.  Even so, with a record number of applications still pending since 2021, it may be some time before the change is noticeable.

We are often asked about best practices for managing brand launch timing, taking into account USPTO delays.  See Suzann’s recent article on this issue.

Please contact TMF if you’re interested in more information about timelines generally or the status of your filings.