March 25

2021: a new record year for trademark applications


Industrial property has not been affected by the health crisis. On the contrary, the number of deposits is steadily increasing. In 2020, the symbolic mark of 100,000 trademarks registered at the INPI was exceeded. The year 2021 shows a continuation of this growth, with more than 113,000 trademark applications in France.

Trademark filings in 2021: a global increase

For the last 5 years, trademark registrations have been on the rise in France. We had already mentioned this point in a previous article (2019: trademark filings on the rise). The 113,070 trademark applications in 2021 represent an increase of 6.5% over 2020. When compared to 2017, there is even an increase of nearly 25% in the number of applications.

Interestingly, patent applications do not reflect this increase. Indeed, even though there is a slight increase in 2021 (+3.1% compared to 2020), patent applications at INPI have not returned to the 2017 level.

Trademark registrations have not only increased in France: the trend is also present among European trademarks but also among international trademarks. Thus, The European Office (EUIPO) reported receiving a record 101,021 European Union Trade Mark (EUT) applications in the first half of 2021, an increase of approximately 24 % over the same period last year.

With regard to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) which manages international trademark applicationsIn 2021, it will grow by 14.4 %. This is the highest annual growth since 2005. WIPO Director General Daren Tang said, "These figures show that human ingenuity and entrepreneurship remain strong despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. This growth is due in particular to the dynamism of French applicants, as France is the 4th largest country to register international trademarks (after the United States, Germany and China).

Trademark refusals and opposition proceedings on the rise in 2021

In parallel with the increase in the number of deposits, There has also been an increase in the number of trademark disputes. In 2021 in France, there will be more than 5,000 oppositions and 750 requests for invalidation or lapse of registered trademarks.

This means that by registering a trademark with the INPI, you have a 5% risk of receiving a stop payment against your deposit. The risk is even higher for EU trademarks. In 2020, the EUIPO received 18,881 oppositions.

If the opposition is recognized as justified, your trademark may be rejected by the Office, and you will have to start the whole procedure again with a new name. To avoid this, it is necessary to researching similarities to ensure that the chosen name is available and does not infringe on prior trademarks.

And beware of other obstacles during the filing process: INPI examiners may also refuse your trademark because it does not meet the requirements of form and substance. If your trademark is judged irregular, the examination period will be greatly extended (from 5 months on average for a "regular" application to 15-18 months in case of a descriptive trademark - most of the time, the decision will result in a rejection of the trademark). To avoid wasting time and money, it is therefore recommended to contact a specialized firm, which will be able to accompany you throughout the procedure, from the choice of the trademark to be filed to its registration.

2021: strong growth for Yamark

Our firm has also actively participated in this increase in the number of trademark applications. In 2021, we are listed in two independent rankings, as a French firm specialized in industrial property. Thus, we occupy the 22th place in the EUIPO ranking listing the French firms that filed the largest number of European trademarks in the 2nd quarter of quarter of 2021. We also managed to climb into the Top 25 of French law firms with the most trademarks filed (French, European and international) according to the Top Filers ranking published by FoveaIP in March 2022.

We will be happy to share our experience with you to break new records in 2022!


2021, increase, patents, numbers, trademark applications, EUIPO, annual report, record, TOP25, WIPO, yamark

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