WIPO released its Global Intellectual Property Indicators 2021 report earlier this month, which shows that despite the immense difficulties caused by the pandemic, intellectual property filings have increased in 2020. This has been particularly the case for trademark filings which increased by 13.7% globally compared to 2019, with approximately 13.4 million trademark applications filed globally in 2020.
This increase in brand activity during the global pandemic is likely due to a number of factors, including companies spotting opportunities to diversify into new products and services as a result of Covid-19 and also companies expanding to abroad.
Taking the example of the fashion industry, the report indicates that 11.9% of all trademark applications filed by applicants outside their country of origin covered classes associated with clothing and fashion accessories. This suggests that fashion brands and retailers have spotted opportunities to expand their operations into new territories during the pandemic, possibly as a result of increased online retail sales to overseas consumers, and that these sales were at a level sufficient to signify trademark protection in those territories were commercially worthwhile.
Global trademark registration activity exploded in 2020, defying a global economic downturn and signaling dynamic entrepreneurship and the introduction of new goods and services in response to the pandemic.