Trademark Statistics: Less Boring Than You Think – Intellectual Property


European Union: Trademark statistics: not as boring as you might think

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Analytics firm Clarivate recently released trademark filing statistics that tell us a lot. They certainly show that despite all the rhetoric about a chronic economic crisis related to COVID-19/post-COVID-19, there is in fact considerable business optimism. The stats also seem to align with all the talk we’ve heard lately about trademark filings being exceptionally buoyant in the second half of 2020.

The statistics are far from comprehensive and relate to only four trademark jurisdictions: the US, EU, UK and Australia. What we are seeing is significant growth in trademark filings in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.


United States: more than 350,000 trademark applications were filed, an increase of 47% compared to the first half of 2020.

UK: more than 90,000 trademark applications were filed, an increase of 69% compared to the first half of 2020.

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO): more than 88,000 trademark applications were filed, an increase of 27% compared to the first half of 2020.

Australia: some 35,000 trademark applications were filed, an increase of 16% compared to the first half of 2020.


Chinese companies. The numbers here are quite remarkable:

  • Of the 350,000 trademark applications filed in the United States, Chinese applicants accounted for more than 100,000, or about 29%. This is a 256% increase over last year.

  • In the EU, Chinese applicants accounted for 20% of filings, well ahead of local heavyweights Germany and Italy.

  • In the UK, filings by Chinese companies increased by 298% compared to last year.

  • In Australia, deposits from Chinese companies increased by 57%.

American companies. In the first six months of 2021, US companies increased their filings at home, in the EU and in the UK.

British companies increased their deposits dramatically in their home country (34%), but fell almost as dramatically in the EU (23%) – there will almost certainly be a Brexit connection here.

European companies significantly increased their deposits in the UK, by 432%. Again, this will almost certainly be related to Brexit.


We’ve covered the point before, but it’s worth repeating. Trademark protection should be a key part of any business plan. This applies to large companies as well as small ones. Many companies don’t have inventions they can patent, product designs they can register as industrial designs, or software they can protect under copyright law. Yet they will all have a corporate or product identity that they can and should protect through trademark law. Statistics suggest that many companies understand this.


Here is in a nutshell what trademark protection includes:

  • Understand what a brand is. Essentially, it is any characteristic that helps to distinguish the product (goods or services) from those of others. Yes, there will almost always be a brand name, but there are many other forms of branding: logos, slogans, color combinations, maybe even more obscure things like sounds.

  • Create a brand (registered trademark) that can be used, protected and licensed. The first step in the branding process requires you to resist the perfectly normal urge to choose a name or logo that describes the product. What you want is something that will set you apart from the competition.

  • Erasure of your mark. Yes, there is a cost associated with finding a trademark, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of defending a trademark infringement suit.

  • Protect the brand by filing trademarks. These registrations will be made in the most important countries and in the most important product categories. For companies that operate in foreign jurisdictions, there may be ways to protect them through the international system, the Madrid Protocol.

  • Enter into brand licensing agreements when they could allow you to increase your business.

  • Enforce your brand when it is infringed.

  • Be open to partnership agreements such as co-branding. But make sure your rights are protected.

This is only a brief summary.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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