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UK trade mark applications on the rise

Written by William Ball, a year 10 work experience student from Saint Edmund's Catholic School on 18 July 2018

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The number of trade mark applications filed at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) last year was nearly triple the total number filed 23 ago in 1995, new reports show.  

Approximately 176,500 applications were filed in 2017, compared to the much lesser figure of 59,000 in 1995.

Most UK trade mark applications come from UK residents, with many non-UK residents causing an increased number of applications in the UKIPO’s EU Counterpart, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Although, 2016 saw a 12% increase of non-resident applications in the year the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Alongside the rise in trade mark applications, the number of registered design applications has also increased greatly since 2014, reaching over 19,000 in 2016 – the highest number since 1995.

The massive shift in applications for both trade marks and designs is certainly caused by the uncertainty of Brexit, says the UKIPO.

However, applications for patents directly to the UKIPO have seen a gentle decline in recent years, dropping from nearly 27,000 in 1995. to about 22,000 in 2017.

On the contrary, Patent applications for the European Patent Office (EPO) are continuing to increase because 94% of the patents it grants still designate protection in the UK. Although, with the UK’s recent ratification of the Unitary Patent and if it does come into force, these figures could also start to decline.

Aside from Brexit, the decrease in most UKIPO patent applications could also be by reason of rising costs, patent application have risen from just £20.00 to £60.00 as of April 2018.

There is sure to be continuing changes in the UKIPO, with so much confusion around the UK’s soon departure from the European Union.

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