The UK’s trade mark registering body, the newly monickered “UK Intellectual Property Office,” has published a 2006 Report. Who registered most brands last year, what were the most popular product categories and why are the Dormers of Aberdare so important? Carla Basso shuffles the stats.
Who: UK Intellectual Property Office
The UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as The Patent Office), issued its Annual Review recently, reporting on the Office's progress from last year, and its new initiatives and services.
Some interesting points emerge from the Facts and Figures section summarising the Office's trade mark registration activity for 2006, giving a nosy neighbour's peek through the net curtains at who is registering what and where…..
"The UK leads the European pack on the number of trade mark applications filed according to country of residence – a total of 65,305. This is up on the 2005 figure of 55,600. Of the UK applications filed, 44,459 successfully made it through the procedure to registration. Impressive? Even more so when compared against our European counterparts. Germany filed 442, France 387, Netherlands 368, Belgium 78, Spain 62, Italy 50, Austria 39 and Greece a mere 22."
Regionally, London brand owners appear to be the most proactive – 5,233 registrations were filed in London, plus 2,907 in the South East. The North East and North West showed a healthy appetite for trade mark protection – with 1,578 and 1,998 registrations respectively. Yorkshire brings up the rear at a mere 127.
"The classification of goods and services of UK trade marks published and registered in 2006 reveals that although most marks were registered in class 9 for "scientific, nautical and surveying and electrical apparatus and instruments" (4,749) and in class 41 for "education, entertainment, sporting and cultural applications" (4,200), the third largest category keeping the UKIPO busiest was class 35 for "advertising, business management and administration services". A total of 4,169 marks were registered in this class in 2006, up on 2005's figure of 3,938 marks. Although these were the successful registrations in this class, a total of 4,542 marks were actually published in the Trade Marks Journal (again up on the 2005 figure of 4,010). Publication follows a successful examination by the UKIPO for registrability after which a third party has three months in which to object to or oppose registration of the published mark – meaning 373 marks must have been knocked out of the application procedure as a result of such third party proceedings. Not as high a figure as one might expect."
At the lead of the top ten companies who have had most trade marks granted in 2006, Imperial Chemical Industries is first at 197, followed by AKZO Nobel Coatings International at 130, Unilver plc at 89, and Glaxo Group plc at 76. In fifth place are the somewhat less well known but evidently very active trade mark proprietors Jonathan Dormer and Mandy Dormer, from Aberdare in Wales. Their 64 trade marks include registrations for "TOPWASH", "ZIPPER", and the recently published "GIVE IT SOME GRUNT!" and predominantly relate to class 3 goods such as laundry, cleaning and skin care products.
Finally, once companies have gone to the bother of filing registrations, it seems they generally want to renew them. Marks can be renewed on their 10th anniversary and every 10 years after that – indefinitely. In 2006, 30,091 registrations (out of a total of 59,307 renewable registrations) were renewed by application, and 10,875 were renewed by adding an additional class. If a trade mark is not renewed in the 6 months after its renewal date, the proprietor has a further 6 months to apply to restore it. A further 160 lapsed registrations were restored and renewed under that procedure.
Why this matters:
Brands are incredibly valuable commodities, and companies that have invested in creating, marketing, managing and exploiting those commodities want to protect them as much as possible, for as long as possible, and for as little cost as possible. The UK trade mark registration process is an organised, relatively cheap and fast procedure for protecting brands, and the smart money is taking full advantage of this. Are you doing the same?
Osborne Clarke London