Date: 29 May 2020
The UKIPO yesterday (28 May 2020) published their annual “Facts and figures: patent, trade mark, designs and hearing data: 2019” which can be accessed here: IPO Link
It will perhaps come as no surprise to the trade mark attorneys amongst our readers that 2019 saw a record 107,527 UK and International (UK) trade mark applications filed. This represents an increase of 12.9% on 2018 and is no doubt due to the ‘Brexit’ effect.
Please follow the link for more information on how Brexit affects UK IP law: Brexit & IP
In stark contrast, the number of UK patent applications filed was down by 8% to 19,250, marking a second year of decline. The IPO is not sure why the number of applications has fallen for a second year in a row; although it suspects it may be in part due to the change in the application fee structure in 2018 which was introduced to discourage frivolous applications.
National designs applications too levelled off in 2019, down 2.4% to 25,545. However, this follows a period of record growth of 304% between 2015-2018.
In terms of who is filing, it is interesting to note that across all IP rights, the highest number of non-UK applications were filed by US applicants, followed by the Chinese. Interestingly, 84% of all design applications in 2019 were filed by UK applicants although almost 75% of applications from other countries were from China and the US.
It will be interesting to see how the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic affects these trends for 2020. Will we see an upturn in patent and design applications due to increased innovation but a downturn in trade mark applications because of cuts in marketing budgets? Only time will tell.
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