The rise of China
In the past decade China has played a major role in global trademark filing activity and represented almost 70% of global filings in 2021 . With more international companies moving their business to China, Chinese authorities started to recognize the importance of IP protection, which led to certain amendments in Chinese trademark law in 2019, making it easier to reject trademarks that have been filed in bad faith. This signals that China’s IP industry continues to develop its conditions for foreign brands and focus more on quality, rather than quantity. With these developments we can expect even more trademark applications in China in the upcoming years. Any business looking to expand internationally should have China as a priority country on the list. Find out more about advantages of registering your trademark in China in our article: Why register a trademark in China?
Automation and AI technologies
AI technologies have been on the rise in recent years with their potential applications in all kinds of industries, including IP law. And although the algorithms currently in use are still far from being able to replace a trademark attorney, there are certain areas of trademark law that could benefit from the usage of AI. Refined analyses delivered by machine learning processes could inform better decisions about which patents deserve more resources or protection, as well as which ones are more likely to receive opposition. Besides that, AI technologies have the potential to free IP professionals from the tedious task of post-registration monitoring, which will help customers more effectively to stay up to date on what the competition is doing and recognize who may be entering the market space. While your AI trademark lawyers are still on the way, initial screening and monitoring are core trademark tasks where we are likely to see more and more automation in the upcoming years.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been in the spotlight of all tech industries for some years now, and IP laws are no exception. The rise of interest in digital assets has helped propel Class 9 (technology, computer hardware, and software) filings from third place in 2011 to second by the end of 2021 . In 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) received 4,807 trademark applications that incorporate or relate to NFTs .
Companies are attempting to jump on the bandwagon in order to stay ahead of the competition and gain market share. Many well-known brands, from Microsoft to Louis Vuitton and Nike, have already shown interest in the metaverse and NFTs world, and many more are expected to follow soon.