That’s one conclusion to draw from the latest
trade mark publication data reported by Thomson Reuters Compumark last
week (download the full report here –
you’ll need to fill in your details). The figures
are derived from the company’s SAEGIS on SERION
tool, and cover published trade marks for 186 countries and
across all classes.
headline, which may not be surprising, is that emerging markets
are replacing established countries in the top 10 (publications
ranked by total volume). In come India, Mexico and Taiwan. Out
go Canada, Germany and the UK. As the authors say, this
reflects the focus of many brand owners, particularly in the
FMCG sector: "The world’s leading retail brands
– the United Kingdom’s Tesco, Metro in
Germany, Wal-Mart in the United States and
France’s Carrefour – all saw their
revenues grow 2.5 times faster in developing nations than they
did in their home markets during 2013."
But behind that trend there is surprising variance. Russia
is not growing as you might expect. China ranks number 1 for
publications (with 860,000), but the number fell 15% in 2013.
India has been up and down, but peaked in 2010.
Readers will note that (unlike filing trends) trade mark
publication figures can be affected as much by government
action (for example investing in examiners to cut backlogs) as
applicant activity. The report also excludes regional systems,
such as the Community trade mark.
So where is going to be big next? I spoke to Kristin Geboers
(below right), senior marketing manager at Thomson Reuters, and
with her help identified five jurisdictions to watch over the
next few years. (The BUSTT acronym, I should add, is ours not
that of Thomson Reuters.)
The South American country ranks number three on the list, and
saw the largest year-on year increase in publications of 53%.
In the short term, the football World Cup and 2016 Olympics
will surely keep it growing, while longer-term Kristin points
to its strength in the fashion industry (it leads the world in
denim production, apparently) and appeal to consumer goods
companies, as well as recent pharmaceutical reforms that will
encourage filings in class 5.
United States: While other western
countries have slipped out of the top 10, the United States
maintains its position as number 2 behind China. Publications
have been flat for the past few years, but Kristin predicts
that the expected economic recovery will lead to further
South Korea: As in the US, class 9 is big
in Korea, thanks to its high-tech industry (contrast that with
China where classes 25 and 35 are the most significant). The
country comes in at fourth in the ranking, and publications
grew by 23% last year to nearly 130,000 published trade marks
across all classes.
Perhaps surprisingly, Turkey ranks fifth in the top 10, with
publications increasing by 18% in 2013. They were led by class
35 following a reform implemented in 2011 to bring the country
into line with the CJEU decision in Praktiker, which led to thousands of new applications. That may be
a quirk, but longer term the country’s growing,
young population and increasing ties with both markets in both
Europe and Asia should lead to further growth, provided there
is political stability.
Taiwan: This is our wild card. Despite
having a population of just 23 million, Taiwan manages
10th place in the Thomson Reuters list, with more
than 66,000 publications (across all classes) in 2013
– more than Australia, Italy, Russia or Switzerland.
It is well placed to benefit from wider Asian growth,
particularly in technology industries, so it could rise even
So there you have it. I’d be interested to know
what practitioners on the ground think: are you seeing growth?
Do you think it is sustainable? What changes could improve
things? Is it possible to have boom and BUSTT? Please send us