EU Trademark applications drop to lowest rate since 2019 - Zacco

Welcome to Zacco – a true European full-service IP firm!

Are you from outside of Europe? Zacco is one of Europe’s leading full-service IP firms – A single point of contact who can represent your gateway to Europe.

We have created a special area for you on our website where we have gathered information on the most sought after services from our foreign agents and clients, making it easier to quickly find what you are looking for.

We cover filing and prosecution work in 10 European jurisdictions directly, including the EUIPO/EPO, UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Austria and Switzerland, but we’ve got you covered anywhere in Europe.

Zacco logotype
Zacco logotype

EU Trademark applications drop to lowest rate since 2019

22 March 2023

Figures released by the EUIPO show that the number of European Union Trademark applications in 2022 were significantly lower than in recent years.

Apart from a slight reduction in 2008, the number of applications have been growing steadily year on year since 2002, and saw a huge boost in recent years jumping almost 20% between 2019 and 2021 from around 160,000 to almost 198,000 in only two years. The figure for 2022 however, which admittedly does not include applications for December, show a drop back to just above 159,000. The current figures including December are around 174,000.

According to a report by WIPO in November 2021, world trademark filings rose by 13.7% in 2020, running counter to the global economic downturn. This figure was based on data compiled from around 150 national and regional authorities, and was partially attributed to the introduction of new goods and services related to the pandemic, but also demonstrated an increasing reliance on intellectual property as a means by which to grow and to secure innovation.

Another report by WIPO, one year later, showed that the global figure jumped by 5.5% in 2021. This was reportedly driven largely by Trademark offices in Asia, who accounted for 69.7% of global filings, while Europe’s share was 15.7%. The end result was that, of an estimated 73.7 million active trademarks globally, over half of these are registered in China alone. While the report for 2022 is not yet available, it will be interesting to see if a similar global drop has occurred and if it is on the scale of that which has been seen in the EU.

Many who work in IP recognise that innovation often booms during times of crisis, so while the rise in IP applications during the pandemic was not entirely unexpected, the size of the drop since has come as a surprise, particularly within Europe. While these figures suggest a slowdown across the EU, it may be that many of the rights registered in Asia are on behalf of European companies seeking to expand their markets. The numbers, therefore, may not tell the whole story but they do still suggest a sluggish recovery.

According to Thomas Mølsgaard, Director of Trademarks and Legal for Zacco Denmark, a potential reason behind last year’s slowdown was a multifaceted response to economic conditions across Europe.” High inflation, due to a number of factors, has resulted in reduced consumer spending which in turn led to companies scaling back growth plans or advertising spend. We can already see small signs of consumer confidence slowly returning, with companies adjusting budgets accordingly, so it is likely that the numbers will grow through 2023 and into 2024. Slowly at first, but they will likely return to previous levels next year.”

Despite the drop in applications within the EU last year, trademarks remain the most effective method of securing your brand and protecting your international reputation. With the number of registered trademarks continuing to rise across the globe, and the proliferation of online infringements, the need to secure and enforce your rights is greater than ever.

For more information on how Zacco can help, reach out to Thomas Mølsgaard (Denmark), Claes Agnvall (Sweden), Lars Henrik Stoud Platou (Norway), Nils Köster (Germany) or Iram Zaidi (UK).

Back to all news