There are over 55 million active worldwide trade marks with 6 million trade mark applications filed in 2015.  The volume of trade marks applications continues to rise with an average annual growth rate of 7% over the last two years.  The amount of trade mark infringement cases resulting in court action has remained fairly consistent from 2005 to 2015, mainly due to negotiation and settlement deals rather than a reduction in trade mark infringement actions.

A recently published survey conducted by market research company Opinium looked at US, UK, Italian, Spanish, French and German company chief executives views on the positive and negative values of trade marks from a brand enforcement and trade mark infringement stand point.

Of the surveyed companies, the findings were as follows:

  • Factors considered most important when applying for a new trade mark included competitive positioning (45%) and whether a mark is “unique” (41%)
  • 20% had a process to actively watch more than 75% of their trade marks, although 50% watched only 26-75% of their marks.
  • 66% had plans to launch new trade marks within the next year.
  • 80% said they would likely launch more trade marks if clearance process were simpler.
  • 53% have taken some form of action against third party infringers
  • 80% believe trade mark infringement of their trade marks is increasing.