Technology continues to play a leading role in the trademark process

Trademark professionals demonstrate an increasing appetite for new tools and technology. Technology is the most cited improvement when it comes to trademark research and protection, chosen by 49% of respondents.

In addition, artificial intelligence (AI), previously thought of as a threat to trademark professionals, is now identified as one of the ways to enhance aspects of the trademark process, especially speeding it up, predictive analytics and automating tasks.

More filings and more infringement

While the two cannot be linked, both the number of trademarks filed and incidents of infringement are on the rise.

  • 48% of respondents filed more marks this year than in 2018 (with 31% filing the same number)
  • 85% experienced infringement in 2019, compared to 81% in 2018 and 74% in 2017
  • Infringement is spanning channels, from business names and social media, to web domains and advertising campaigns

The cost of infringement remains high

In addition to customer confusion, loss of revenue and reputational damage, infringement can be costly.

  • 46% of respondents had to change a brand name as a result of infringement
  • 75% of respondents say infringement has led to litigation
  • 40% of respondents have spent between $50,000 – $249,999 on infringement cases

Internal processes and perceptions are changing too

Over the last year there’s been a move toward more collaboration during the naming process between trademark professionals and other areas of the business, such as marketing. Training forms a part of this move, either formally or on an ad-hoc basis, with 30% delivering formal training programs.

The trademark landscape is expanding

More than half of respondents say they filed more image marks over the last 12 months, and surprisingly 78% have included industrial design in their filing strategy.

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