Chinese Brands’ Global Impact: Trademark Surges

Trademark Surges

Unlocking China’s Trademark Boom: A Global Growth Phenomenon

The remarkable surge in China’s economic landscape is not just reflected in its impressive 6.8 percent GDP growth in Q1 2018. The nation is making waves globally, particularly in trademark activity, signaling a profound shift in its role on the international stage.

Domestic Trademark Dominance

China boasts the world’s largest domestic trademark registry, with over 5.2 million applications in 2017 alone—ten times larger than the USA’s registry, the second-largest globally. In a single week in September 2017, China recorded over 116,000 applications, surpassing the total European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) filings for the entire 2016.

This dominance isn’t new; for over two decades, China has consistently outpaced the world in annual trademark applications, with more than half of all global applications originating from its registers. The allure for global brands is evident, given China’s massive consumer base of 1.4 billion.

Global Expansion of Chinese Brands

In just four years, Chinese brands catapulted from the tenth to the second position globally in terms of filing volume. With a trajectory poised to challenge US brands for the top spot, Chinese applicants filed nearly 120,000 foreign applications in 2017—placing China’s filing volume between Mexico and EUIPO as the eighth largest in the world.

Notably, one in every nine US applications in 2017 was from a Chinese brand, showcasing the rapid growth and impact of Chinese brands on the global stage.

Diversification of Markets

While China’s trademark landscape looked different four years ago, it has rapidly evolved. Chinese brands, once focused on Southeast Asia, now concentrate heavily on North America. The US market has seen an exponential increase from 6,200 applications in 2014 to over 50,000 in 2017.

This diversification extends beyond the US, with significant growth observed in Europe (+55%), Japan (+73%), the UK (+122%), Australia (+139%), and Canada (+49%) in 2017 alone.

Predicted Overtaking of the US

With Chinese brands steadily climbing the ranks in foreign trademark applications, it’s anticipated that China will surpass the US by 2020. Hong Kong secures the third position, illustrating the collective might of Chinese entities in the global trademark arena.

Export Focus and Key Industries

Examining the most frequently used trademark classes reveals China’s key export areas. Class 9, encompassing electronics and electrical equipment, topped the list in 2017 with around 30,000 applications. Class 25, covering clothing, and Class 11, which includes lighting and heating apparatus, followed closely.

Conclusion: Navigating the Changing Landscape

China’s impact on the global trademark realm is undeniable. As it transitions from a minor player to a major force, Chinese brands must strategize to navigate diverse international trademark registers while safeguarding their brand integrity. Partnering with an Intellectual Property Law Firm specializing in global trademark registration and protection becomes paramount in this evolving landscape. The next four years promise further transformation, marking an exciting era in the dynamic world of trademarks, wherein legal expertise and strategic counsel will be pivotal for Chinese brands aiming to solidify their presence on an international scale.

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