Are We Running Out of Trademarks?

Assess the current trademark landscape as you finalize your initiatives for the remainder of the year. In this article, we’ll examine an important trademark trend that could impact your name development strategies. 


Running Out of Trademarks? 

In the brand name development industry, we continue to observe a significant surge in the number of trademark applications submitted year after year. In 2021 the international trademark system known as the Madrid System, operated by WIPO, experienced its fastest growth since 2005. A total of 73,100 applications were filed, for a 14.4% increase compared to the previous year. Given the exponential growth and prevailing trends in global trademark development, it is highly plausible that this upward trend will persist. 


However, this massive number of applications raises an important question: will we run out of trademarks? In the last few years, many companies have had to settle for their second choices when it comes to a mark, resulting in less competitively viable names hitting the marketplace. A large percentage of these trademark applications originated in China. Increasingly global markets are affecting brand name availability. 


The total number of global trademarks in force is approaching 60 million. Existing marks will block the registration of new ones, even if the person or organization who initially registered the mark has abandoned it. The trademark registry has become somewhat backlogged, though audits have decreased the number of blockages in recent years. 


How This Affects You 

Be confident that it is still possible to acquire trademarks that are also on target from a branding perspective. Your creative methodologies must be intertwined with effective trademark vetting. Your brand development agency should be equipped to overcome the challenges of increasingly crowded markets.  


When appropriate, consider challenging an inactive trademark. The USTPO provides tools to allow registrants to challenge existing trademark registrations on the basis of non-use. 


Our brand name development agency is here to help your business get your ideal trademark. Get in touch with the Brandsymbol team here to speak with our trademarking experts.