Are trademark filing statistics a good indicator of the overall US economy? Perhaps. Certainly in tougher times, budgets tighten and filings decrease. The numbers have reflected that in the current recession, an in 2001-02, filings have decreased.
In January and February 2010, 42239 applications were filed at the USPTO. In the same time in 2009 39,682 were filed and in the same time in 2008 50, 539 were filed. (These are based on simple searches of publicly available records at www.uspto.gov.)
Annual filing trends:
- 2006: 280, 453
- 2007: 305,450
- 2008: 292,474
- 2009: 265,800
- 2010: ???
More details and statistics can be found at uspto.gov and in the 2009 USPTO Annual Report (PDF). The USPTO reports slightly different numbers (based on the fiscal year rather than the calendar year, and perhaps based on the number of Classes paid for?) but the picture is the same: filings increased in ’05, ’06, and ’07, and dropped significantly in 2009.
According to Intellectual Property Watch, global filings in 2009 were off 16 percent in 2009 but were trending up in 2010.
My take on the numbers: The increases in January and February are a very positive sign. Our firm’s filings are up significantly. Businesses are investing in the future and investing in their brands.