Many of the international trademark applications made under the Madrid System in 2011 originated from within the European Union, it has been revealed.
Figures published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicate that the EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market was the most active applicant.
The office filed a total of 5,859 applications last year, up 24.5 per cent on the previous year and accounting for a 13.9 per cent share of the market.
Germany took second place with 5,000 applications, which translated to an 11.8 per cent share.
Other EU countries represented in the top ten of the chart include France, Italy, and the Benelux nations – Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The UK was just outside the top ten, with British businesses, organisations and individuals having made 1,129 filings under the Madrid system in 2011.
Outside the EU, the US was the most active nation.
The country took third place in the chart after the EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market and Germany, with 4,791 applications and an 11.3 per cent market share.
Also in the top ten were Switzerland in 5th – not an EU nation despite its location in the heart of Europe – China in 7th, Russia in 9th and Japan in 10th.
Administered by WIPO, the Madrid system offers a trademark owner the possibility of having a mark protected in up to 85 countries by filing one application, in one language – English, French or Spanish – with one set of fees, in one currency.
Applicants wishing to use the 85-member Madrid system must apply for a trademark in a relevant national or regional trademark office before seeking international protection.
The oldest international trademark registration which is still in effect belongs to Swiss watchmaker Longines – this was established in 1893.