Global trends trademark registration

Trademarks are among the most valuable assets for fashion and luxury brands. According to the latest trademark industry report, there seems to be a clear correlation between companies’ trademark activity and their innovation.

For large fashion and luxury brands, trademarks are extremely important business assets. The editor of TrademarkNow’s report, Charlie Hill, points out that there is “a clear correlation between the companies’ trademark activity and innovation”.

Furthermore, Hill points out that innovating companies tend to apply for more trademarks than imitators, and recent studies indicate that companies are more likely to use trademarks when they are large, when they gauge the risk of imitation by competitors to be high, and when they are active in terms of export.

The importance of trademark protection

Trademark protection activities incorporate trademark oppositions and infringement actions. For business purposes, trademarks are among the most valuable assets for fashion and luxury brands. Trademark protection is indefinite. Over time, it increases the value of the investment made.

For example, Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854, and the “LV” trademark was registered in 1896. Trademark law offers an unlimited protection of the name of the company and the “LV” monogram. Today, Louis Vuitton’s brand value is $28.8 billion (May 2017), which makes it one of the world’s most valuable brands.

Global trends in trademarks

Fashion and luxury brands have the most active trademark folios according to the Trademarks, Now: Trademark Industry Review Q1 2017 report.

The report revealed that in the clothing, apparel and luxury goods industry, cosmetics (Class 3) and jewelry (Class 14) represented the largest portion of registered goods for the top five companies in 2016; whereas the number of applications filed in leather goods (Class 18) had shown a consistent growth over the past five years.

Overall, clothing (Class 25) came fourth, and cosmetics (Class 3) came ninth of the largest-volume trademark product classes in 2016.

The beauty sector industry is in third place of the fastest-growing companies in trademarks, where clothing, apparel and luxury goods are in seventh place.

The fashion and luxury brand, LVMH, which owns i.e. Dior and Louis Vuitton, is in first place of filing trademarks in the clothing, apparel and luxury goods industry. In the past three years, LVMH has filed more than 2100 marks around the world. Furthermore, L’Oréal reached the top five of global companies having the fastest-growing trademark folios.

It is evident from the report that the most active fashion and luxury brands in terms of trademark registrations and protection activities are the most innovative and have the highest risk of imitations in the country where the activities take place.

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NJORD Law Firm is a truly Nordic law firm with expert knowledge of international markets, networks, and the legal practice area of fashion law to advice and support fashion designers and fashion houses with regard to trademark registration and protection as well as other legal issues faced in the fashion industry.

For more information about international trademark registration and protection, please contact Partner and Attorney Jeppe Brogaard Clausen

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