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The USPTO Trademark Case Files Dataset: Descriptions, Lessons, and Insights


  • Stuart J.H. Graham
  • Galen Hancock
  • Alan C. Marco
  • Amanda Fila Myers


This article describes the “USPTO Trademark Case Files Dataset” of trademark applications and registrations derived from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) main database for administering trademark case files. The dataset provides detailed information on 6.7 million trademark applications filed with, or registrations issued by, the USPTO between January 1870 and January 2012, including ownership, mark characteristics, classification, prosecution events, and renewal and maintenance history. This article provides a comprehensive description of the dataset, including discussions of the legal framework affecting and the administrative processes generating these data. We provide a “first look” at the information the dataset captures and present key trends in trademark applications, registrations, and renewals. We highlight data elements valuable to researchers and the general public, and discuss issues that may arise in using these data. In describing these data, we aim to encourage new streams of research on trademarks and what they indicate about their users, the strategies for employing them, and the wider economic impacts that these data will help uncover.

Suggested Citation

  • Stuart J.H. Graham & Galen Hancock & Alan C. Marco & Amanda Fila Myers, 2013. "The USPTO Trademark Case Files Dataset: Descriptions, Lessons, and Insights," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 669-705, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:22:y:2013:i:4:p:669-705
    DOI: 10.1111/jems.12035

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mendonca, Sandro & Pereira, Tiago Santos & Godinho, Manuel Mira, 2004. "Trademarks as an indicator of innovation and industrial change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1385-1404, November.
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    3. Matthias Gotsch & Christiane Hipp, 2011. "Measurement of innovation activities in the knowledge-intensive services industry: a trademark approach," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 2167-2184, March.
    4. Marco Ceccagnoli & Stuart J.H. Graham & Matthew J. Higgins & Jeongsik Lee, 2010. "Productivity and the role of complementary assets in firms' demand for technology innovations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 839-869, June.
    5. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1987. "Trademark Law: An Economic Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 265-309, October.
    6. Ulrich Schmoch & Stephan Gauch, 2009. "Service marks as indicators for innovation in knowledge-based services," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 323-335, October.
    7. Graevenitz, Georg von, 2007. "Which Reputations Does a Brand Owner Need? Evidence from Trade Mark Opposition," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 215, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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