Saturday, March 3, 2007

Filing Habits

For 2006, there was a total of 276,165 applications filed with the PTO {2006????[fd]}.

162,494 (58.8%) were filed as intent to use applications {2006????[fd] and (1B)[ob]}.

102,035 (36.9%) were filed as in use applications {2006????[fd] and (1A)[ob]}.

7820 (2.8%) were filed on the basis of a foreign application {2006????[fd] and (44d)[ob]}.

3606 (1.3%) were filed on the basis of a foreign registration {2006????[fd] and (44e)[ob]}.

As seen by the above numbers, a majority of the trademark applications filed in 2006 were intent to use applications. However, when you look at the filings of some of the top brands listed below, 92.3% of their applications were intent to use applications.

What do these numbers tell us? Well, for one these big companies tend to file applications for trademarks before they actually use the marks. Presumably, they have conducted trademark searches to clear the marks. For them, trademark protection is a before-thought rather than an afterthought. All to often, smaller firms use trademarks blindly. They think that they'll get around to thinking about trademark protection latter. Sometimes they only think about it when they get a nasty cease and desist letter from one of my colleagues.

Hopefully that won't be you. Learn and follow what the big boys do. Conduct clearance searches first. Then file an intent to use application to stake your claim. Remember, trademarks are a valuable asset to your firm. Big firms see it as a big land grab. They know their value, and they invest time and money to protect it. They don't want to spend money on something already claimed by another, and once they find an appropriate mark for their goods or service, they stake a claim early so as to deter others from adopting the mark.

Company 2006 Totals Search Strategy 1(B) 2006 Totals Search Strategy
The Coca-Cola Company 141 ("coca cola")[on] and 2006????[fd] 129
("coca cola")[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1B)[ob]
Microsoft Corporation 130 (microsoft)[on] and 2006????[fd] 123
(microsoft)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1B)[ob]
International Business Machines Corporation 26 ("international business machines")[on] and 2006????[fd] 21
("international business machines")[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
General Electric Company 93 ("general electric")[on] and 2006????[fd] 77
("general electric")[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Intel Corporation 5 (intel)[on] and 2006????[fd] 5
(intel)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Nokia Corporation* 13 (nokia)[on] and 2006????[fd] 1
(nokia)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Toyota Motor Corporation 30 (toyota)[on] and 2006????[fd] 26
(toyota)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Disney Enterprises, Inc. 432 (disney)[on] and 2006????[fd] 394
(disney)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
McDonald’s Corporation 30 (mcdonald)[on] and ("oak brook")[ow] and 2006????[fd] 19
(mcdonald)[on] and ("oak brook")[ow] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
The Procter & Gamble Company 211 ("Procter & Gamble")[on] and 2006????[fd] 199
("Procter & Gamble")[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Pepsico, Inc. 120 (pepsico)[on] and 2006????[fd] 106
(pepsico)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
The Dannon Company 58 ("dannon company")[on] and 2006????[fd] 46
("dannon company")[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Mattel, Inc. 780 ("mattel inc")[on] and 2006????[fd] 778
("mattel inc")[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Hasbro, Inc. 113 (hasbro)[on] and 2006????[fd] 99
(hasbro)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]
Viacom International Inc. 260 (viacom)[on] and 2006????[fd] 232
(viacom)[on] and 2006????[fd] and (1b)[ob]





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