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4 April 2017Trademarks

TM infringement increasing but watching levels are low, says report

Despite the majority of senior executives believing trademark infringement is on the rise, only one in five has a process in place to actively watch more than 75% of their marks.

This is according to CompuMark, a trademark research and protection company, which released the results of a survey analysing the challenges that C-level executives (including CEOs, CIOs and CFOs) face.

With the increasing number of trademark launches, there is a corresponding fear that infringement will increase, according to CompuMark.

Eight out of ten executives believe trademark infringement is growing, but looking at the US alone, the number of infringement cases has been fairly consistent in the last decade (3,820 disputes brought to court in 2005, and 3,449 in 2015).

Despite the view that infringement is on the rise, only one in five respondents has a process in place to actively watch more than 75% of their marks, while half admitted to only watching between 26-75%.

Trademark watching is a process where organisations or third-party experts are tasked with identifying cases of infringement.

More than half of the respondents indicated that their companies have taken legal action against third parties who had infringed their brand, with 34% having to change one of their brand names as a result of infringement.

On a more positive note, the survey, which was conducted by market research company Opinium, found that two-thirds (66%) of organisations stated they had plans to launch new marks over the next 12 months.

“The number of trademarks being filed is increasing exponentially and will, no doubt, continue to do so,” said Anil Gupta, chief marketing officer of CompuMark.

With the number of trademarks already in the market, it’s becoming more difficult for brands to clear and register unique marks while protecting those already registered.

“This highlights the need for greater protection and, as a result, makes it imperative for organisations across the globe to develop and enforce a comprehensive strategy that helps them secure their biggest assets — their brands,” added Gupta.

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