2 July 2018Trademarks

Early trademark filers may reap rewards later: USPTO report

US firms that file a trademark in their first year of existence will tend to experience a higher rate of employment growth, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

A new report from the office, “An Anatomy of US Firms Seeking Trademark Registration”, said that average employment for such firms is higher compared to those filing after year one. The employment gap between the two groups also widens as the firms age.

“Average employment more than triples from roughly 2.5 employees in year zero to nearly ten employees by year one,” said the report.

“While both types of firms tend to grow with age, average employment grows much faster for the firms with a trademark application filing compared to those without one.”

The report also indicated that firms that file a trademark in their infancy are more likely to experience larger revenue than those that don’t.

According to the USPTO, brands are more likely to register a trademark when the returns to reputation, product quality, and scale and scope expansion are high.

The report looked at new statistics that combine the USPTO’s Trademark Case Files Dataset with firm-level micro data at the US Census Bureau. It examined connections between trademark activity (such as when a trademark was filed in comparison to a firm’s lifecycle) and firm characteristics and performance.

According to the study, which also looked at research and development (R&D), if an innovation is not eligible to be protected by a patent, firms may be more likely to seek trademark registration.

The USPTO said: “Further, the relatively frequent co-presence of trademark applications and R&D activity in firms without patents suggest that, for at least some firms, trademarks may capture innovative outputs of R&D investment not accounted for by patents.”

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