Record numbers of trademarks were registered under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks during 2011.

The organization received 42,270 applications from parties seeking brand protection, up by 6.5 per cent on the previous year.

European Union nations were particularly active, accounting for 57.4 per cent of all international trademark applications during the 12-month period.

But the largest growth rates among the top ten countries in the system came from the Russian Federation (35.6 per cent), the US (15.5 per cent) and China (11.5 per cent).

Actual registrations recorded in the International Trademark Register increased by 8.5 per cent last year, totalling 40,711, while WIPO recorded 21,754 international trademark renewals.

The organization said this reflects the “continued value” that businesses place in their brand management and protection, at a time of significant economic uncertainty.

Francis Gurry, director general of WIPO, explained that the Madrid international trademark system enables individual businesses to protect their brands in line with their export strategies and provides “excellent value for money”.

“The recovery in Madrid system activity that we witnessed in 2010 was further consolidated in 2011, where a new record was established for the number of international trademark applications filed,” he added.

A breakdown of the statistics reveals that the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) overtook Germany as the largest source of filings.

The body made 5,859 international applications under the Madrid System in 2011, which represented a 24.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

Some 5,000 international applications, or 11.8 per cent of the total, could be attributed to Germany, while the US took third place with 4,791 (11.3 per cent).

Next on the list was France, with 3,804 applications (9.0 per cent), ahead of Switzerland, Italy, China and the Benelux nations – Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The legal basis for the system is the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks of 1891 – a multilateral treaty – along with the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement, which was agreed in 1989.

Madrid System sees record trademark applications in 2011
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