WIPO published its World Intellectual Property Indicators 2021 report earlier this month, which shows that despite the immense difficulties caused by the pandemic, IP filings increased in 2020. This was particularly the case for trademark filings which increased by 13.7% worldwide compared to 2019, with approximately 13.4 million trademark applications filed worldwide in 2020.
This increase in brand activity during the global pandemic is likely due to a number of factors, including companies spotting opportunities to diversify into new products and services in the wake of Covid-19 and also companies develop abroad.
Taking the fashion industry as an example, the report indicates that 11.9% of all trademark applications filed by applicants outside their country of origin covered classes associated with fashion clothing and accessories. This suggests that fashion brands and retailers have spotted opportunities to expand into new territories during the pandemic, likely due to an increase in online retail sales to overseas consumers, and that these sales were at a sufficient level to make trademark protection in those territories worthwhile commercially.
Global trademark filing activity exploded in 2020, defying a global economic downturn and signaling vibrant entrepreneurship and the introduction of new goods and services in response to the pandemic.