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February 24, 2021 General

China: EUTM and RCD Focus – 2010 to 2019 Evolution & 2020 COVID-19 Impact Analysis


The remarkable growth in filings for EU trade marks and designs by Chinese applicants may have come to prominence during 2020 – especially following the onset of the COVID‑19 pandemic – but this story starts much earlier.

The latest China Focus Report was initially developed to study the exponential growth in interest from Chinese applicants over the decade from 2010 to 2019. This trend was clearly identified in the previously published EUIPO Trade Mark Focus and Design Focus reports and this new report provides more detailed information regarding top Chinese applicant/owner and class filing/registration volumes and rates, as well as data concerning straight-through applications and objection/deficiency rates.

However, the global COVID‑19 pandemic is currently impacting and disrupting human societies, provoking health and economic crises in major economies and developing countries. Several of the ‘Top 10’ countries, in terms of EUTM and RCD filings, are amongst the hardest hit. Therefore, the EUIPO feels that the picture would not be complete without an update on the impact this unprecedented upheaval is having on the filings for EU IP rights.

This analysis focuses specifically on the preponderant influence of demand from China on overall application volumes for both EUTMs and Direct RCDs since the pandemic began to spread globally, that is, during the first few months of 2020. This general expansion can clearly be seen in the notable increase in the Chinese share of overall EUTM filings (from 9.5 % in 2019 to 16.2 % in 2020) and Direct RCD filings (from 14.3 % in 2019 to 19.1 % in 2020).

The predominance of technology-based enterprises, such as Huawei, in the Top 10 ranking of EUTM applicants from China is echoed in the distribution of the Top 10 Chinese EUTM classes filed for, with Class 9 (electrical apparatus; computers) accounting for 20 % of all Chinese EUTM class filings from 2010 to 2019.

The most relevant fluctuation in Chinese EUTM class filings for 2020 concerns Class 10 (medical apparatus & instruments). Indeed, more than 25 % of overall Class 10 filings in 2020 originated from Chinese applicants. This fact demonstrates a strong correlation between the increased global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and Chinese efforts to meet this demand by significantly increasing their production and supply of goods such as medical-grade gloves and masks.

For more detailed information on how increasing Chinese demand for EU IP rights is impacting overall filing dynamics, please read the new China: EUTM and RCD Focus – 2010 to 2019 Evolution & 2020 COVID‑19 Impact Analysis

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