Without including boring details (go to the sources for that), here is some information that I found interesting:
• For the last several years, China has led the world in trademark activity (generally determined by the number of applications filed in that country). The U.S. is second and rounding out the top five spots in 2012 (according to the Thomson report) were Brazil, Turkey and France. (Germany was in Turkey’s place last year).
• German applicants filed the most applications worldwide (by class equivalents) based on 2011 WIPO data. The majority of new applications filed by German applicants, as well as French and U.S. applicants, were filed abroad. The bulk of applications filed by Chinese applicants were filed in China.
• Overall trademark activity has been more or less flat in the last couple of years, but is showing some signs of growth in a few countries, most notably the United Kingdom.
• On a worldwide basis, the leading classification for new applications was 35 (Advertising and Business Management Services). In second place was Class 25 for clothing. Other biggies: Class 5 (pharmaceuticals), 9 (scientific apparatus/equipment) and 41(educational services).
• China accounted for nearly 70% of the total volume of trademark applications in Class 25 for clothing and had nearly twice as many Class 5 applications (pharmaceuticals) as the U.S.
• The least active classifications on a worldwide basis have been 13 (firearms and ammunition), 15 (musical instruments) and 23 (yarns and threads for textile use).
• About 1/3 of the total applications filed worldwide in the last couple of years have been for services, with higher percentages of service mark applications filed in such countries as Australia, Mexico, Turkey, U.K. and the U.S. and the highest percentages in France, Germany and Spain (over 50%). Over 75% of the applications filed in China have been for goods.
• The most recent WIPO information shows that countries such as Curacao, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, and Tonga, each had less than 200 trademark applications in 2011.
• The Thomson Report identifies the top ten companies with published marks as Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Nestle, LG, Unilever, Disney Enterprises, Procter& Gamble, Nissan, Sanofi and Philip Morris.
The data can be overwhelming, but the various charts and graphs in these materials do give a good picture of patterns and trends that can be useful in understanding today’s worldwide economy.