In the past 5 years, the number of trademark applications by case and by class in Taiwan has continued to grow year on year and, in 2019, it surpassed 110,000 classes for the first time. In 2020, it was almost 120,000 classes. From 2016 to 2019, the proportion of applications (by class) filed by foreign applicants fluctuated slightly between 34.8% and 37%. However, since 2019, the number of applications (by class) filed by foreign applicants has shown a negative growth, standing at only 30% in 2020, which represents a fall of 3.91% compared with the previous year. This decrease is offset by a growth of 10.69% for domestic applicants, which brings the overall growth rate for the year to 6.78%.
In terms of industry categories, in the past five years, the top three in which Taiwan has received trademark applications are: “Agricultural Foodstuffs,” “Health and Medical Affairs,” and “Business and Finance.” For resident applications, the top three categories are “Agricultural Foodstuffs,” “Business and Finance,” and “Health and Medical Affairs.” The top three categories for foreign applicants have been “Technical Research,” “Health and Medical Affairs,” and “Agricultural Foodstuffs.”
In terms of the nationality of applicants over the past 5 years, the top three countries (regions) for filing have been Japan, the United States, and mainland China, with the number of foreign trademark applications filed from these three countries (regions) accounting for more than half of all foreign trademark applications. As it stands, those for Japanese trademark applications are: “Health and Medical Affairs,” “Technology Research,” and “Fashion Apparel & Accessories.” Foreign trademark applications from the U.S. have primarily been in “Technology Research,” “Health and Medical Affairs,” and “Leisure Equipment,” and from mainland Chinese are “Technology Research,” “Health and Medical Affairs,” and “Agricultural Foodstuffs.” The top industries in developed countries such as Germany, the U.S., and Japan are “Technology Research” and “Recreation and Education.” This shows that the foundation of technologies in developed countries is still solid and, at the same time, also emphasizes the strength of cultural and spiritual industries. Furthermore, in 2019, Japan surpassed other countries when it came to “Technology Research,” with the percentage of its applications filed under that category exceeding 25%.
Looking at the distribution of trademark applications in 2020, we can see that there were no changes in terms of industry categories where domestic applications were concerned. Also, and perhaps due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumer habits have turned to domestic consumption. Therefore, resident trademark applications were still being actively filed. As for the sharp decline in applications (by class) filed by foreign applicants, whether this has been caused by the global pandemic, and whether trends in other countries (regions) have followed a similar pattern, needs to be further examined when the WIPI 2021 report comes out.