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Monday, 13 February 2006

GERMANY WINS AGAIN; LATEST JIPLP


TM filings: Germany wins again!

A WIPO press release has broken the unsurprising news that, for the thirteenth year running, Germany has topped the list of countries filing for international trade mark protection under the Madrid system(s). According to the Press Release:

"A record 33,565 international trade mark applications were received in 2005 by ... WIPO under the Madrid system for the international registration of trade marks. 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 trade mark applications. ...

The largest share of the 33,565 international trade mark 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 USA 2,847 (8.5%), Benelux 2,426 (7.2%), Italy 2,340 (7%), 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 trade mark offices of the members concerned.

... the total number of international applications filed by applicants from the EC amounted to 22,147 (66%), including applications filed both through national trade mark 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 USA moved from sixth to third place, showing a steep increase in international filings (+63.9%). Other countries showing a marked increase in international trade mark 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%).

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 trade mark applications from developing country members .... International trade mark 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 trade mark application, applicants must designate those countries in which they want their mark to be protected ...

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 USA, Japan, Turkey, Norway, Ukraine, Australia, Romania and the Republic of Korea.

By the end of 2005, 450,039 international trade mark registrations containing some 5.1 million active designations, belonging to some 150,000 different trade mark 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 IPKat, who loves statistics, thinks it's amazing that the number of trade mark infringement proceedings seems to remain more or less constant - at least in his own jurisdiction - despite the proliferation of trade marks. Perhaps this is because, however many marks are registered, it's only the successful ones that are worth infringing. Merpel adds, just think of all those luscious registration and renewal fees. Can they simultaneously be good value for money and a tax on market initiative?

And here's the one the Germans REALLY want to win


Latest JIPLP

The IPKat's copy of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice for February is packed with goodies. In particular, you can click on the links below for the abstracts of the following pieces:
* TechnoLlama Andres Guadamuz Gonzalez (right) writes on the unsatisfactory conclusion of the Great Software Directive Debate of 2005 and offers some constructive comments as to what it all means for the software industry.

* Alden F. Abbott and Suzanne Michel explain all about settlement agreements - a US-led development in which patent owners, instead of suing infringers, pay them not to infringe. Bristows' Pat Treacy adds a European perspective.

* Dynamic duo Marius Schneider (Gevers) and Olivier Vrins (Altius) carry on the debate over the EU's unsatisfactory proposals on criminalising IP infringements.

* Sheldon H. Klein (Arent Fox) considers the GEICO/Google spat over the exploitation of another's trade mark for internet-related advertising purposes.
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