Immigration has been in the news frequently over the past few years, and increasingly so in 2017. We took a quick look at whether the rate of immigration-related filings at the USPTO has changed markedly over the years in a way that reflected the political salience of the issue. The search was limited to a handful of immigration-related terms in the descriptions of goods and services, and is not anywhere close to a definitive count of all marks filed for immigration-related products or services. Just for one example, the search does not even try include broader descriptions of services, like “legal services,” that could encompass immigration-related services, like immigration law.
Recent years have certainly seen an uptick in immigration-related applications, surging from fifty a year in the 2000s to around 150 per year in the last three years. The following chart summarizes the increase in average yearly application rates.
While the trademark application rate for specifically immigration-related products and services has increased significantly, it has not increased in relation to the increase in overall trademark filings. The following chart normalizes both immigration-related filing activity and overall filing activity. While not exactly in lockstep, the ratios are quite similar; if anything, overall filing volumes appear to have jumped more than immigration-related filings.