Thursday, March 18, 2010

International Trademark - Profile and Costs of Registrations

The top six in the ranking of most designated member states remained unchanged. China (with 14,766 designations) continues to be the most designated country, followed by the Russian Federation, USA, Switzerland, the European Union and Japan.

The number of designations fell in all designated contracting parties, although a number of countries moved up the list of 40 most designated contracting parties. For example, Viet Nam moved from 24th to 21st position, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 33rd to 26th position, Azerbaijan from 36th to 32nd position, Georgia (from 35th to 33rd position) and Albania (from 40th to 35th position). Two countries entered the top 40 most designated countries in 2009, namely, Iran (37th) and Egypt (39th).

In 2009, on average, about seven Madrid Union members were designated per registration by applicants seeking international trademark protection under the Madrid system. More than half (62%) of these registrations sought protection in five or less export markets.

In submitting a trademark application, an applicant has to specify the goods or services to which the trademark will be applied in accordance with an international classification system known as the “Nice Classification”. The most popular classes of goods and services in international trademark registrations recorded in 2009 were Class 9 (covering, for example, computer hardware and software) representing 8.3% of the total, Class 35 (covering services such as office functions, advertising and business management) which represented 7.1% of the total, Class 42 (covering services provided by for example, scientific, industrial or technological engineers and computer specialists) which represented 5.6% of the total; Class 5 (covering mainly pharmaceuticals and other preparations for medical purposes), Class 25 (covering clothing, footwear and headgear) and Class 41 (covering services in the area of education, training, entertainment, sporting and cultural activities) each represented 4.7% of the total.

In 2009, applicants paid on average 3,408 Swiss francs for an international registration; for 57% of registrations the fees paid were less than 3,000 Swiss francs. - WIPO

International Trademark - Top Holders and Top Applicants

With 136 international trademark applications, Novartis (Switzerland) was the largest filer in 2009 followed by Lidl (Germany), Henkel (Germany), Zhejiang Medicine Company (China), Shimano (Japan), KRKA (Slovenia), Richter Gedeon (Hungary), L’Oréal (France), BSH Bosch und Siemens (Germany), Egis Gyógyszergyár (Hungary), Pfizer (Switzerland), Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium), Bayer (Germany), Glaxo Group (UK), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany), Nestlé (Switzerland), Sanofi Aventis (France), Callaway Golf Company (USA) and Siemens (Germany).

In May 2009, the number of international trademark registrations topped one million when Austrian “eco” company Grüne Erde, which specializes in natural wood, textile and cosmetic products, registered its mark.

Henkel (Germany), with a total of 2,815, holds the largest number of international trademark registrations under the Madrid system. The top twenty holders by the end of 2009 were: Henkel (Germany), Novartis (Switzerland), Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium), l’Oréal (France), Nestlé (Switzerland), Unilever (Netherlands), ITM Enterprises (France), BASF (Germany), Sanofi-Aventis (France), Siemens (Germany), Lidl (Germany), Bayer (Germany), Biofarma (France), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany), Richter Gedeon (Hungary), Syngenta (Switzerland), Philips (Netherlands), Ecolab (Germany), Merck (Germany), Hofer (Austria) and Deutsche Telekom (Germany). - WIPO

Global Financial Crisis Hits International Trademark Filings in 2009

International trademark filings under WIPO’s Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (“the Madrid system”) dropped by 16% in 2009 as a result of the global economic downturn, though increases were observed among some major users of the system, notably the European Union (EU) (3.1%) and Japan (2.7%), as well as in the Republic of Korea (ROK) (+33.9%), Singapore (+20.5%), Croatia (+17.5%) and Hungary (+14.5%).

WIPO received 35,195 international applications under the 84-member Madrid system compared to 42,075 in 2008. Similarly, international trademark registrations were down 12% on 2008 with a total 35,925 international registrations in 2009. Trademark registrations reflect the introduction of new products and services to the market and are sensitive to business cycles. The comparatively smaller decrease (-1.2%) in the renewal of international trademark registrations, compared to 2008, reflects the value of established brands at a time when consumers opt for goods that are tried and trusted. In 2009, 19,234 international trademark renewals were recorded.

“International trademark filings took a hit in 2009,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, “this is not surprising given the difficult financial conditions and restrained consumer demand facing companies around the world. While trademark protection is sound business practice in good times and bad, companies are more cautious about bringing new products to market when economic uncertainty is high. That said, trademarks and the brands they underpin play a key role in value creation and provide the basis for business expansion when the economy recovers.”

Mr. Gurry noted “Historically, we know that demand for intellectual property rights declines in periods of recession. These downturns are more strongly and rapidly felt in the area of trademarks which are more closely tied to market conditions. Demand for intellectual property rights, however, had reached unprecedented levels prior to the crisis and we have every reason to believe that international trademark activity will pick up as economic growth solidifies and broadens.” - WIPO