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How long does it take to register a trademark? (March ’22 update)

The length of the trademark registration process varies considerably between intellectual property offices (IPO) in individual countries. While the protection starts from the date of filing a trademark application, it is not enacted until the IPO examination process is completed.

By

Jan Buza

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Methodology

We have taken the last 1,000 trademarks registered in 8 jurisdictions, including the US, Canada, the UK, Benelux, Switzerland, the EU, China and Australia and calculated the average time (in days) it took for a trademark application process to be completed. This result was also compared with our findings from August ’21, allowing for the evaluation of the general trend in the speed of individual IPOs.

Length of trademark registration process

In the context of the 8 jurisdictions examined, the length of the trademark registration process varied from 75 days (Benelux) to 980 days (Canada). While 3 of the studied countries experienced a positive trend in speeding up the IPO examination process (Benelux, the UK and the EU), a considerable slow down has been uncovered in China (+97%) and Canada (+68%).

Trademark registration in Benelux (covering Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg)

75 days is all it takes to complete a registration process in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Benelux IPO is consistently the fastest IPO and shows the lowest variation in the process (standard deviation 11 days).

Trademark registration in the United Kingdom

122 days. The most significant improvement in the speed of the registration process has been achieved by the UK IPO, reducing the average length of the process from 141 days (August ’21) to 122 days (March ’22), an impressive change by 13%. The standard deviation of 46 days suggests that the registration process can take slightly longer for more complex cases.

Trademark registration in Switzerland

The length of the trademark registration process in Switzerland is 131 days (on average), with a standard deviation of 40 days. The 6-month trend is slightly negative, prolonging the process by 4%.

Trademark registration in the European Union (covering all 27 member states)

On average, it takes 135 days to complete the trademark registration process in the EU. An improvement by 10% over the last 6 months is a good sign of an enhanced efficiency of this IPO. The standard deviation of 70 days however points towards a considerable variation in the length of the trademark registration process.

Trademark registration in Australia

Both August ’21 and March ’22 figures reveal consistency in the processes taken by the AU IPO, with the average length of the trademark registration process being 288 days. The variation in the process is however substantial (standard deviation of 249 days).

Trademark registration in the United States (covering all 50 states)

With the exception of China, the US IPO (USPTO) receives the largest number of trademark applications in the world and thus, it may be understandable that the examination process takes a little bit longer. On average, it takes 419 days to register a trademark in the US, with the standard deviation of 103 days.

Trademark registration in China

The most substantial decline in the efficiency of the IPO has been uncovered in China where it takes 571 days (on average) to register a trademark, prolonging the process by 97% in comparison to figures from August ’21. The trademark registration process is however fairly consistent in China, with the standard deviation of only 76.

Trademark registration in Canada

It takes nearly 3 years (980 days on average) for the IPO in Canada to examine and publish newly registered trademarks. This period was “only” 583 days when we examined this trend in August ’21, suggesting a negative long-term trend in the inefficiency of the IPO in Canada (prolonging the trademark registration process by 68%).

Jan Buza
Jan Buza
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