Trademark activities in the Nordic countries by five of the biggest fashion and luxury brands
The Nordic countries may not be a high priority for the large fashion and luxury brands because of low demand. However, fashion and luxury brands’, such as L'Oréal, Gucci, Hermes, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, brand protection activities against imitation in the Nordic region during the past three years indicate the risk of imitations and the brands’ willingness to innovate in general.
Norway is the most attractive country in which to file trademark applications. Overall, these brands have filed 36 trademark applications in Norway over the past three years. The second most attractive country was Denmark with 15 trademark applications. The third most attractive country was Sweden with four applications. Finally, none of these fashion and luxury brands have filed trademark applications in Finland in the past three years.
“Obviously, there is a big leap between these countries, and the number of applications is clearly staggering. The difference between the numbers of applications indicates the regions’ different legal approaches to trademark registration, which is why it is so important for legal advisors to know the differences in the Nordic region when advising fashion brands”
Overall, L’Oréal has been the most active fashion and luxury brand in terms of filing trademark applications. Within the past three years, L’Oréal has filed 25 trademark applications. Notably, 21 of these were filed in Norway. This is a relatively high number of applications compared to other fashion and luxury brands, such as Gucci, Hermes, Dior, and Louis Vuitton. L’Oréal’s remaining four applications were filed in Denmark and Sweden, two in each country.
Chanel and Hermes were equally active by filing 10 applications. Chanel filed six in Denmark, three in Norway, and one in Sweden. By contrast, Hermes filed five applications in both Norway and Denmark. Furthermore, Dior filed four applications in Norway, two in Denmark, and one in Sweden.
By contrast, Louis Vuitton only filed one trademark application in Norway and none in the other Nordic countries. Similarly, Gucci was relatively inactive with only two applications in Norway.
None of these brands filed a trademark application in Finland.
Trends in trademark registration classes
These brands mainly focused on Cosmetics (Class 3), Jewelry (Class 14), and Leather Goods (Class 18).
The trademark filing activities correspond with the results presented in Trademark Now’s report. However, the report indicates that there is a slight decline in the registration of goods in Cosmetics (Class 3), whereas Jewelry (14) and Leather Goods (18) are on the rise.
In the future, it will be interesting to see whether these brands will focus more on Jewelry and Leather Goods. Thus far, this trend is already visible in the Nordic region.
Trademark protection activities
L’Oréal was the most active (16) in brand protection activities. L’Oréal faced the need for brand protection the most in Norway, as they filed 21 trademark applications in Norway. Therefore, the highest risk of imitations seems to be in Norway.
Not far behind was Chanel in brand protection activities (13). Chanel protected its brand mostly in Sweden, then in Norway and Finland alike. The rest of the brands were not active. They only had a few protection activities in Norway and Sweden.
L’Oréal, Chanel, and Hermes were the most active and presumably most innovative companies considering their trademark activities in the Nordics. By contrast, Louis Vuitton and Gucci had almost no activity in the Nordics. Dior remained in the middle of these two extremes.
From a global trademark registration trends perspective, the trademark registration formula was the same in the Nordic countries. In the future, it will be interesting to see in which direction fashion and luxury brands will go in terms of trademark registration trends, and whether fashion and luxury brands will have a need to increase their brand protection activities in the Nordics.
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NJORD Law Firm is a truly Nordic law firm with expert knowledge of the national markets, networks, and fashion law in the Nordic region to advice and support fashion designers and fashion houses with regard to trademark registration and protection as well as other legal issues.
For more information about trademark registration and protection in the Nordic region, please contact Partner and Attorney Jeppe Brogaard Clausen.