Record Number of International Trademark Applications in 2005 with Germany Leading for 13th Consecutive Year

Geneva, February 9, 2006
Press Releases PR/2006/437

A record 33,565 international trademark applications were received in 2005 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under the Madrid system for the international registration of trademarks. This represents a 13.9% increase on figures for 2004. Germany, for the 13th consecutive year, led the list of top filers. Applications from developing countries increased by 30.6% over 2004, with China topping the list of users. China also unseated Switzerland as the most designated country in international trademark applications. The "Madrid system" is a user-friendly and cost-effective service for the international registration of marks.

"The overall performance of WIPO's services to the private sector – in particular the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the Madrid system - in 2005 has been exceptional and reflects the growing integration of these procedures into business strategies. I am confident that these trends will continue as realization of the concrete business advantages offered by these systems grows and as new countries come on board," said Dr. Kamil Idris, Director General of WIPO. "Increasing usage of these systems by developing countries is also very encouraging and underlines the growing commitment of these countries to using the intellectual property system as a strategic tool for wealth creation," Dr. Idris said.

Commenting on the value of trademarks to business, Dr. Idris said "In the highly competitive global marketplace, a business is fully identified by and associated with its brands. Arguably, brand value is one of the most important - if not the most important asset that a business holds." He added "Brands are powerful symbols that influence consumer choices and affect investment. Successful brands, underpinned by trademark protection, are a signal of a company's ability to deliver on a promise."

The largest share of the 33,565 international trademark applications received by WIPO in 2005 was filed by users in Germany (5,802 or 17.3% of the total), followed by users in France with 3,497 international applications (10.4%), the United States of America 2,847 (8.5%), Benelux 2,426 (7.2%), Italy 2,340 (7.0%), Switzerland 2,235 (6.7%), the European Community 1,852 (5.5%) and China 1,334 (4.0%). These figures relate to international applications filed through the trademark offices of the members concerned.

Since October 2004, applicants from the European Community (EC) have the option to file their international applications either through the national trademark office of an EC member state or through the EC's regional Trademark Office (OHIM) in Alicante. In 2005, the total number of international applications filed by applicants from the EC amounted to 22,147 (66%), including applications filed both through national trademark offices (20,295) of EC member states and those filed through OHIM.

In its second full year as a member of the Madrid system, the United States of America moved from sixth to third place, showing a steep increase in international filings (+63.9%). Other countries showing a marked increase in international trademark applications under the Madrid system in 2005 include Singapore (+47.3%), Turkey (+32.9%), China (+31.4%), Japan (+29.0%), Australia (+24.7%), Bulgaria (+17.1%) and the Republic of Korea (+16.5%).

Mr. Ernesto Rubio, WIPO Assistant Director General who oversees trademark questions, noted that the recent accessions of the United States of America and the European Community to the Madrid Protocol have been a major factor behind the significant increases in the use of the system. Mr. Rubio added "all companies large and small can reap significant time and cost savings in using the Madrid system. Indeed, there is clear evidence that the small and medium-sized enterprise sector in member countries relies heavily on the Madrid system to acquire and maintain their trademarks."

The top twenty users of the Madrid system in 2005 were Hofer (Austria), Lidl Stiftung & Co (Germany), Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium), Deutsche Telekom AG (Germany), Henkel (Germany), Novartis (Switzerland), Aldi (Germany), Siemens (Germany), Nestlé (Switzerland), Bosch (Germany), Beiersdorf (Germany), Krka (Slovenia), Barilla (Italy), Unilever (Netherlands), Solvay (Belgium), L'Oréal (France), Plus Warenhandelsgesellschaft (Germany), Altana Pharma (Germany), ITM Entreprises (France), Parfums Christian Dior (France).

Last year also saw a significant rise (30.6%) in the level of trademark applications from developing country members of the system as compared to 2004. International trademark applications from developing countries represented 5.3% of the total number received in 2005. The top filers from developing countries were: China (1,334 applications), Republic of Korea (148), Singapore (137), Morocco (66), Viet Nam (34) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (31).

In 2005, a record 356,476 new designations (made in international registrations and territorial extensions through subsequent designations) were notified, representing a 19.6% increase over 2004. When submitting an international trademark application, applicants must designate those countries in which they want their mark to be protected (as long, of course, as they are a member of the Madrid system). Applicants can also extend the effects of an international registration to other members at a later date by filing a subsequent designation. In this way, the holder of an international registration can expand the geographical scope of the protection of a mark in line with evolving business needs. Moreover, a subsequent designation may be made to extend the protection of the mark to a country that was not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol at the time the international application was made.

In 2005, China became the most designated country (with 13,576 designations), a position held by Switzerland since 1997. Other countries which have moved up in the ranking of most designated countries compared to 2004 are the United States of America, Japan, Turkey, Norway, Ukraine, Australia, Romania and the Republic of Korea.

In a move to promote greater use of the international trademark system by least developed countries (LDCs) - at present, only seven LDCs are party to the Madrid system, namely, Bhutan, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zambia - member states approved, in autumn 2005, a proposal to reduce the costs for applicants from LDCs to file applications for international trademark protection. This fee reduction, which took effect on January 1, 2006, brings the basic fee payable to WIPO down to 10% of the current amounts of 653 or 903 SFr. This means that the amount payable to WIPO by applicants from LDCs would become 65 or 90 SFr., depending on whether the reproduction of the mark is in black and white or in color.

The international trademark system administered by WIPO offers a trademark owner the possibility of having a mark protected in up to 77 countries by filing one application, in one language (English, French or Spanish), with one set of fees, in one currency (Swiss Francs). Applicants wishing to use the Madrid system must apply for trademark protection in a relevant national or regional trademark office before seeking international protection. Thereafter, the international registration can be maintained and renewed through a single procedure. An international registration under the Madrid system produces the same effects as an application for registration of the mark in each of the contracting parties designated by the applicant. If protection is not refused by the trademark office of a designated contracting party, the status of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that office. In other words, the system provides a cost-effective and efficient way for trademark holders to secure protection for their marks in multiple countries through the filing of a single application.

The system is governed by two international treaties, namely the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol which became operational in 1996 introduced several features including the ability to submit applications in English and to extend the period for notification of a refusal. These features made the system more flexible and attractive to a larger number of countries. The total number of countries party to the Protocol is 67 and the overall current membership of the Madrid system is 78 (77 countries plus the European Community (EC).

By the end of 2005, 450,039 international trademark registrations containing some 5.1 million active designations, belonging to some 150,000 different trademark holders (many of them SMEs), were in force in the international register. Those international registrations represented the equivalent of some 5.1 million national registrations, in view of the fact that, on average, international registrations extend their effects to 11 to 12 designated countries.

The first international trademark registration dates from 1893 and belonged at that time to Swiss chocolate producer Russ Suchard et Cie, but is no longer in effect. The oldest international trademark registration which is still in effect as a result of multiple renewals, belongs to Swiss watchmaker Longines. This trademark was also first registered in 1893.

Trademarks are a key component of any successful business marketing strategy as they allow them to identify, promote and license their goods or services in the marketplace and to distinguish these from those of their competitors, thereby cementing customer loyalty. A trademark symbolizes the promise of a quality product and in today's global and increasingly electronic marketplace a trademark is often the only way for customers to identify a company's products and services. Trademark protection hinders moves by unfair competitors to "free ride" on the goodwill of a company by using similar distinctive signs to market inferior or similar products or services. Loss, dilution or infringement of a high-value trademark could prove devastating to a business.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

  • Tel: (+41 22) - 338 81 61 or 338 95 47
  • Fax: (+41 22) - 338 82 80
  • Email: publicinf@wipo.int.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Indicators 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1 - Applications by Office of Origin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applications filed in 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shares within total filings and growth rates

as compared to 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office of Origin

2004

2005

Share

Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germany (DE)

5,395

5,802

17.3%

7.5%

 

 

France (FR)

3,518

3,497

10.4%

-0.6%

 

 

United States of America (US)

1,737

2,847

8.5%

63.9%

 

 

Benelux (BX)

2,482

2,426

7.2%

-2.3%

 

 

Italy (IT)

2,499

2,340

7.0%

-6.4%

 

 

Switzerland (CH)

2,133

2,235

6.7%

4.8%

 

 

European Community (EM)

354

1,852

5.5%

423.2%

 

 

China (CN)

1,015

1,334

4.0%

31.4%

 

 

Austria (AT)

1,181

1,190

3.5%

0.8%

 

 

United Kingdom (GB)

917

1,014

3.0%

10.6%

 

 

Japan (JP)

692

893

2.7%

29.0%

 

 

Spain (ES)

866

853

2.5%

-1.5%

 

 

Australia (AU)

683

852

2.5%

24.7%

 

 

Turkey (TR)

593

788

2.3%

32.9%

 

 

Russian Federation (RU)

575

604

1.8%

5.0%

 

 

Czech Republic (CZ)

615

547

1.6%

-11.1%

 

 

Denmark (DK)

441

508

1.5%

15.2%

 

 

Sweden (SE)

462

409

1.2%

-11.5%

 

 

Bulgaria (BG)

334

391

1.2%

17.1%

 

 

Poland (PL)

344

334

1.0%

-2.9%

 

 

Portugal (PT)

175

263

0.8%

50.3%

 

 

Norway (NO)

218

234

0.7%

7.3%

 

 

Slovakia (SK)

249

215

0.6%

-13.7%

 

 

Finland (FI)

198

208

0.6%

5.1%

 

 

Slovenia (SI)

201

180

0.5%

-10.4%

 

 

Hungary (HU)

231

152

0.5%

-34.2%

 

 

Republic of Korea (KR)

127

148

0.4%

16.5%

 

 

Singapore (SG)

93

137

0.4%

47.3%

 

 

Serbia and Montenegro (YU)

86

107

0.3%

24.4%

 

 

Ukraine (UA)

78

104

0.3%

33.3%

 

 

Lithuania (LT)

63

101

0.3%

60.3%

 

 

Romania (RO)

58

100

0.3%

72.4%

 

 

Liechtenstein (LI)

89

96

0.3%

7.9%

 

 

Latvia (LV)

109

81

0.2%

-25.7%

 

 

Croatia (HR)

135

79

0.2%

-41.5%

 

 

Republic of Moldova (MD)

46

77

0.2%

67.4%

 

 

Estonia (EE)

75

72

0.2%

-4.0%

 

 

Morocco (MA)

57

66

0.2%

15.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Indicators 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1 - Applications by Office of Origin (continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applications filed in 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shares within total filings and growth rates

as compared to 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office of Origin

2004

2005

Share

Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greece (GR)

49

65

0.2%

32.7%

 

 

Monaco (MC)

45

43

0.1%

-4.4%

 

 

Kazakhstan (KZ)

17

41

0.1%

141.2%

 

 

Iceland (IS)

33

39

0.1%

18.2%

 

 

Ireland (IE)

48

37

0.1%

-22.9%

 

 

Viet Nam (VN)

13

34

0.1%

161.5%

 

 

Iran (Islamic Republic of) (IR)

7

31

0.1%

342.9%

 

 

Armenia (AM)

7

27

0.1%

285.7%

 

 

Belarus (BY)

29

24

0.1%

-17.2%

 

 

Egypt (EG)

11

17

0.1%

54.5%

 

 

San Marino (SM)

2

15

0.0%

650.0%

 

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)

26

12

0.0%

-53.8%

 

 

Georgia (GE)

2

9

0.0%

350.0%

 

 

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MK)

14

9

0.0%

-35.7%

 

 

Albania (AL)

1

8

0.0%

700.0%

 

 

Cuba (CU)

15

5

0.0%

-66.7%

 

 

Netherlands Antilles (AN)

3

5

0.0%

66.7%

 

 

Syrian Arab Republic (SY)

0

3

0.0%

n.a.

 

 

Algeria (DZ)

17

2

0.0%

-88.2%

 

 

Azerbaijan (AZ)

1

2

0.0%

100.0%

 

 

Cyprus (CY)

2

1

0.0%

-50.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

29,473

33,565

100.0%

13.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks

 

 

 

Statistical Indicators 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2 - All designated Contracting Parties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members designated in registrations

 

 

 

 

and subsequent designations in 2005

 

 

 

 

Growth rates as compared to 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country/Organization

2004

2005

Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

China (CN)

9,262

13,576

46.6%

 

Switzerland (CH)

10,140

13,192

30.1%

 

Russian Federation (RU)

9,939

12,809

28.9%

 

United States of America (US)

7,104

11,861

67.0%

 

Japan (JP)

7,070

10,099

42.8%

 

Germany (DE)

8,276

9,153

10.6%

 

Italy (IT)

7,948

8,818

10.9%

 

Turkey (TR)

6,256

8,599

37.5%

 

France (FR)

8,097

8,584

6.0%

 

Norway (NO)

6,819

8,440

23.8%

 

Spain (ES)

7,921

8,328

5.1%

 

United Kingdom (GB)

7,719

8,288

7.4%

 

Ukraine (UA)

6,359

8,270

30.1%

 

Australia (AU)

5,617

7,987

42.2%

 

Benelux (BX)

7,699

7,921

2.9%

 

Romania (RO)

6,125

7,765

26.8%

 

Austria (AT)

7,488

7,636

2.0%

 

Republic of Korea (KR)

4,849

7,157

47.6%

 

Poland (PL)

7,597

6,824

-10.2%

 

Croatia (HR)

5,297

6,714

26.8%

 

Bulgaria (BG)

5,404

6,594

22.0%

 

European Community (EM)

114

6,308

5433.3%

 

Singapore (SG)

4,450

6,125

37.6%

 

Czech Republic (CZ)

6,633

6,016

-9.3%

 

Hungary (HU)

6,510

5,913

-9.2%

 

Portugal (PT)

5,610

5,694

1.5%

 

Serbia and Montenegro (YU)

4,560

5,513

20.9%

 

Belarus (BY)

4,382

5,401

23.3%

 

Slovakia (SK)

5,625

5,114

-9.1%

 

Greece (GR)

5,038

5,017

-0.4%

 

Sweden (SE)

5,125

4,902

-4.4%

 

Denmark (DK)

4,942

4,718

-4.5%

 

Slovenia (SI)

5,260

4,641

-11.8%

 

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MK)

3,341

4,337

29.8%

 

Finland (FI)

4,477

4,240

-5.3%

 

Lithuania (LT)

4,745

4,044

-14.8%

 

Morocco (MA)

3,093

3,989

29.0%

 

Latvia (LV)

4,707

3,978

-15.5%

 

Liechtenstein (LI)

3,249

3,885

19.6%

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)

3,281

3,795

15.7%

 

Monaco (MC)

2,990

3,791

26.8%

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2 - All designated Contracting Parties (continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members designated in registrations

 

 

 

 

and subsequent designations in 2005

 

 

 

 

Growth rates as compared to 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country/Organization

2004

2005

Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ireland (IE)

3,680

3,636

-1.2%

 

Estonia (EE)

4,257

3,531

-17.1%

 

Republic of Moldova (MD)

2,835

3,500

23.5%

 

Kazakhstan (KZ)

2,542

3,099

21.9%

 

Iran (Islamic Republic of) (IR)

1,386

3,002

116.6%

 

Iceland (IS)

2,401

2,957

23.2%

 

Georgia (GE)

2,439

2,951

21.0%

 

Egypt (EG)

2,502

2,940

17.5%

 

Albania (AL)

2,137

2,721

27.3%

 

Armenia (AM)

2,152

2,676

24.3%

 

Viet Nam (VN)

2,256

2,637

16.9%

 

Kyrgyzstan (KG)

1,801

2,441

35.5%

 

Algeria (DZ)

1,929

2,368

22.8%

 

Cyprus (CY)

1,869

2,325

24.4%

 

Turkmenistan (TM)

1,820

2,274

24.9%

 

Uzbekistan (UZ)

2,050

2,269

10.7%

 

Azerbaijan (AZ)

1,956

2,231

14.1%

 

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (KP)

1,677

2,015

20.2%

 

Cuba (CU)

1,515

1,882

24.2%

 

Tajikistan (TJ)

1,642

1,844

12.3%

 

Syrian Arab Republic (SY)

184

1,664

804.3%

 

Mongolia (MN)

1,234

1,587

28.6%

 

San Marino (SM)

1,506

1,555

3.3%

 

Kenya (KE)

1,209

1,477

22.2%

 

Netherlands Antilles (AN)

835

1,141

36.6%

 

Mozambique (MZ)

885

1,130

27.7%

 

Swaziland (SZ)

815

1,071

31.4%

 

Zambia (ZM)

779

1,070

37.4%

 

Antigua and Barbuda (AG)

843

1004

19.1%

 

Sierra Leone (SL)

790

982

24.3%

 

Lesotho (LS)

767

975

27.1%

 

Namibia (NA)

136

921

577.2%

 

Bhutan (BT)

714

903

26.5%

 

Sudan (SD)

794

901

13.5%

 

Liberia (LR)

712

760

6.7%

 

Total

298,167

356,476

19.6%

 

 

Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks

Statistical indicators 2005

 

Graph 1 – Trademarks in force in the International Register

Registrations by Category of Right-Holder on December 31, 2005

Designations in force (5,123,280)