Friday, 27 November 2009

Registry week - global trademark filing stats

The US Patent and Trade Mark Office recently released its 2009/2010 Annual Report which showed a 13% fall in annual trade mark filings from a record high in 2008/2009. The figures show a decline to 2006 levels. The equivalent report from the European Community Trade Mark Office illustrates that we might expect (they run a calendar year) a 3-5% drop in filings from a record high in 2008. The International Registration (WIPO) figures have not been released although there was mention of a slowdown in March this year in a report on their record filings in 2009. Afro Leo stands to be corrected but the the equivalent trade mark statistics from Cipro show a drop off of between 25% and 35%.

A decline in filings statistics is expected in these economic times. The last time we experienced a similar worldwide fall was in the early 2000s following the dot com crash. What is interesting is the relatively good performance of the European figures against the US figures which also, in Afro Leo's view, are fairly robust given the extent of the crash and the record highs reported in 2008/9. The EU stats can probably be interpreted as another illustration of the success of the paperless OHIM office. The dramatic drop at the South African Office is less easy to explain, especially since South Africa has performed relatively well during this recession. Perhaps it is because the single class filing system used in RSA is more exposed during periods of slow economic activity and/or because the relative strength of the Rand has put a significant strain on US budgets or perhaps it is simply because when the world sneezes RSA stats often come down with the flu, such is a the volatility experienced by developing countries?

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