What does trademark allowance rate mean?

With so many options for trademark filing services, how do you compare one trademark service to another? One way to determine a trademark attorney’s track record is to look at the trademark allowance rate. This metric provides a percentage of allowed trademarks in view of all trademark filings filed by an attorney. How do we calculate this approval rating?

Initially, we add all the registrations and pending applications which have been approved for publication. As of the date of this post, I have secured nearly 500 trademark registrations for our clients. To find registered trademarks I’ve handled, enter the following query in TESS at the USPTO: (vic and lin)[at] and `RN > “0”. To search for another attorney, replace “(vic and lin)” with the appropriate first and last names of the practitioner. If you end up with results from multiple attorneys, you may need to use quotes for the name instead of the “and” operator.

In addition, I have handled a little over 200 trademark applications which were approved for publication, but have not registered. The sum of registrations and applications approved for publication give us our numerator. This numerator is then divided by all the trademark applications I have ever filed.

So here is my formula for determining the trademark allowance rate for an attorney: [(number of registrations) + (number of published applications that have not registered)] / total number of trademark filings.

As a result, my trademark allowance rate as of the date of this post is 78.8%. So nearly 4 out 5 trademark applications I have filed have been approved or registered.

How many trademark registrations have I obtained for our clients?

As of the date of this post, I have obtained 492 trademark regisrations for clients.

How does my trademark track record compare to others?

According to trademark data by the USPTO, current statistics do not show the overall success rate of trademark filings. However, the USPTO does reveal the percentage of trademark applications that get approved without any Office Actions. Currently, this percentage of approval upon “first action” is:

  • 44.9% for TEAS Plus applications;
  • 14.6% for TEAS Standard applications;
  • 2.4% for Madrid applications; and
  • 22% for paper applications.

Of course, the overall approval rating would undoubtedly be higher. At some point, it would be helpful if the USPTO can publish data that speak to the overall success rate of trademark applications. For now, we’ll have to compare apples to oranges.

Winning Formula for Trademark Registration: How can you increase your trademark probability of success?

Start by avoiding the two biggest obstacles to trademark registration. First, avoid descriptive marks. Second, choose marks that are not confusable with prior registrations and applications that cover similar or related goods or services. A trademark knockout search can help you navigate around potential similar marks.

If and when your trademark application is rejected based on mere descriptiveness or likelihood of confusion, then your response must include convincing arguments that are not merely legal arguments. You want to find examples of other marks that were registered in spite of having similar issues.

I believe the most effective way to get your trademark application allowed is to choose the right mark at the outset. This upfront strategy can save a substantial amount of time and money by reducing the risk of rejections. Nowadays, there is an abundance of cheap online trademark filing services, but do those services provide guidance that will save you time and money in the long run?

Need to hire an IP attorney with a high trademark allowance rate?

If experience matters to you, contact patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at vlin@icaplaw.com or call (949) 223-9623 to see how we might help you execute a more effective strategy for registering your trademarks.

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Vic Lin

Startup Patent Attorney, Cofounder at Innovation Capital Law Group
We align ourselves with Davids fighting Goliaths. Our registered patent attorneys help innovators get IP that drives funding, growth and sales. Email or call us so we can get to work on your IP: (949) 223-9623 | vlin@icaplaw.com