The trademark ecosystem: Insights into trademark value, protection and technology

Robert Reading, Director, Government & Content Strategy, IP Group at Clarivate

The fifth annual Trademark Ecosystem Report from Clarivate provides brand owners and trademark professionals a unique view on what took place over the course of the most important year in modern times for global commerce.

2020 was a challenging year for economies around the world. There was massive social dislocation. Businesses were forced to switch to online platforms to communicate and maintain operations. Online retail replaced in-store shopping for vast numbers of consumers. Entire sectors – travel, hospitality, healthcare – saw enormous changes in demand overnight. However, at times even the deepest challenges can unearth some opportunity: by the end of 2020 trademark filing activity had reached record high levels around the globe.

Industry disruption leads to new challenges

Based on interviews with 300 trademark professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Mainland China, the Trademark Ecosystem Report 2021 identifies a range of common challenges as trademark activity increases:

  • Involvement from the executive C-suite in brand strategy and decisions is crucial in a world of accelerated change and globalization. A significant number of respondents stated that lack of leadership engagement had resulted in important revenue opportunities missed.
  • Nearly 90% of brands surveyed experienced trademark infringement – the highest level since our survey began in 2017.
  • Trademark infringement frequently involves social media and web domains.
  • Budgets and resources are not keeping up with increased trademark filing volume and trademark infringement, and the pressure to “do more with less” is higher than ever.

Technology offers solutions

Our report also looks at potential solutions. The switch to online retail and remote working in 2020 was made possible by technology that reached maturity and scale at exactly the right time.

Technology also has the potential to enable trademark professionals to overcome resource and budget constraints by improving efficiency and making manual tasks less onerous, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence to make trademark searching and watching easier
  • Predictive analytics to improve decision making
  • Improved speed and accuracy when locating relevant evidence or assessing complex marks

At Clarivate, we are on a bold mission to make IP intelligence more accessible, more flexible and more actionable – providing the clarity our customers need to create, protect and advance innovation. As part of this mission, we seek to hear directly from customers through many channels, including the survey that informs our Trademark Ecosystem Report. Take a look.

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