China is on course to overtake the US as the world's leading source of foreign trademark applications by 2020, according to new research.
The report ‘Chinese Brands Go Global,’ from trademark research and protection solutions provider CompuMark, reveals that in the past two years alone the number of Chinese trademark applications to foreign registers has doubled, with Chinese applicants filing nearly 120,000 foreign trademark applications in 2017.
The report analysed 62.6 million active trademarks across 186 trademark registers in over 200 countries. It assessed domestic and foreign trademark applications by Chinese brands, made between 2014 and 2017. The number of US trademark applications made by Chinese brands has increased by 800 percent since 2014, indicating the USA is now the major market for Chinese brands and a shift in focus away from their traditional target markets in Southeast Asia. Domestically, the Chinese trademark register also continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. With more than 1.4 billion consumers, the Chinese market is seen as a key target for international brands so global brands flock to register trademarks there. China’s domestic trademark register is now the largest in the world, accepting more than five million new trademark applications in 2017.
Globally, 60 percent of trademark applications in 2017 were on the China register. and the proportion of global trademark applications filed in China is still growing. Jeff Roy, president of CompuMark explained, ‘Trends in trademark applications can serve as powerful indicators of economic activity. China is a great example of this. By filing volume, our report shows that in just 4 years Chinese brands have jumped from number 10 in the world to number two.’ Mr Roy says current trends suggest Chinese brands are likely to challenge US brands for global supremacy in the near future.