15% Increase in Trademark Infringement Over Two Years
85% of brands experienced trademark infringement in the past year, showing a steady upward trend from 81% in 2018 and 74% in 2017. This is according to the latest research from CompuMark, the industry leader in trademark research and protection, and a Clarivate Analytics company.
For those that suffered infringement, consequences were significant, with the top three cited as customer confusion (45%), loss of revenue (38%) and damage to brand reputation (37%). Three quarters of trademark infringements also led to litigation, with 40% of organizations spending between $50,000 – $249,999 on legal proceedings. In addition, 46% of respondents had to rebrand as a result of infringement, an exercise which can be costly for brands.
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The research also shows that trademark infringement frequently goes beyond business name and includes many different types of infringement:
- Business name (44%)
- Web domains (44%)
- Social media (38%)
- Online marketplaces (38%)
- Advertising campaigns (34%)
In parallel with the rise in infringement, the number of trademarks filed is also increasing with 48% brands filing more, 31% filing the same number, and 21% filing fewer marks, compared to last year. This reflects latest figures from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) showing a 15.5% increase in trademarks filed in 2018.
The filing landscape is shifting too; 78% of respondents are including industrial design trademarks in their filing strategies and 56% are filing more image marks than in 2018.
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“We’re seeing more and more trademarks filed as brands seek to take advantage of commercial opportunities driven by globalization, the online marketplace and emerging markets entering the IP space,” said Jeff Roy, President, IP Group, Clarivate Analytics.
“Trademark infringement can have a devastating impact on brands and, as a result, clearing, registering and watching marks has never been more important. It’s likely we will continue to see an increase in the number and types of trademarks registered, including image marks, as the process and technology for searching continues to improve.”
Technology was the most cited (49%) way of improving the trademark research and protection process, with artificial intelligence seen as the method of speeding up search, watch and review, as well as in using predictive analytics and automating tasks.