Trademarks That Are Bang On-Trend in 2020

Lisa Wright,

Every decade has its fads and crazes and so product trends are continually shifting. What’s hot now may not necessarily be in vogue in a year or even a month’s time. Lava lamps, toy company Mattel’s “Hot Wheels”, Hasbro’s electronic game “Simon”, Mars Inc’s “HubbaBubba”, Hacky Sacks. Jelly Shoes and Gap “Dream” perfume were just a handful of products that caught on and were really big in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and they are all still popular today.

If you want to know what goods are getting people to open their wallets and companies to clamour for trademarks in the last decade, then check out our recent report “The Last Decade in Trademark Numbers”. In this eBook we share an overview and analysis of the top 5 Nice Classes of the USPTO and the EUIPO (Classes 9, 25, 35, 41, and 42) and their product descriptions.

5 hot niche products 

We took a look at 5 niche products that are all currently having a moment and their trademark activity. Hot or not? Let us know if you think our choices are hot or cold in the comments below (and if you would like us to write about any other “on point” products in our blog please get in touch).

  • Beard straighteners
  • Pet beds
  • Shapewear
  • Massage guns
  • Athleisure

1. Beard straighteners

Women have been using hair straighteners since 1909 when Isaac K. Shero patented the first hair straightener composed of two flat irons that were heated and pressed together.  Now men with frizzy and untameable beards can dispense with using messy oils and balms and use specially designed beard straighteners to obtain smooth, neat facial hair. And millions of them do!

According to the male grooming blog Pimp and Prep 3 of the best brands on the market today include the Andis “High Heat Press Comb”, CNXUS “Iconic Hair Straightener Brush” and AMOVEE “Mini Flat Iron Ceramic Hair Straightener”. With many of us now working from home and perhaps growing a beard for fun this is a product that could come in handy as a birthday gift!

With so many brands in the hair care market it is interesting to note that there are currently just 4 trademarks which use the term “beard straightener” in their product description and 2 of them are still pending. It appears that beards are much appreciated in the Registries of Mexico and Poland where the marks are currently valid.     

2 of the trademarks for beard straighteners are in Class 8 (Hand Tools and Cutlery) with 1 in Class 35 (Advertising and Business) and 1 in Class 3 (Cosmetics and Cleaning Preparations).

2. Pet beds

Who doesn’t want to ensure their beloved pooch or moggy has a bed to guarantee their comfort at home? According to Google Trends, “dog bed” has seen recent growth in worldwide searches. Currently, the keyword “dog bed” gets on average some 234,000 monthly searches, while “cat bed” returns around 60,500 monthly Google searches. 

Currently, there are over 42 thousand valid trademarks with the term “pet bed” in their product description and more than 10 thousand pending. The top 3 Registries are China’s CNIPA, Japan’s JPO and Turkey’s TPE.  

Class 20 takes the lion’s share with 24.6% with product description keywords  “Furniture and furnishings”, “Beds for pets” and “Mirrors” included in the trademark applications. 

3. Shapeware

Women have a lot to blame Catherine de’ Medici for. In the 1550s, she banned thick waists from court. This ushered in the corset; a torturous device clamped around women’s waists, narrowing them to tiny proportions (remember Scarlett O’Hara’s famous 16” waist?)

Nowadays, designs to smooth out bulges and encourage the ‘ideal’ hourglass figure are thankfully less damaging to the anatomy. Shapewear is every girl’s (and many a man’s) friend and the explosion in trademarks over recent years proves it. 

Mostly registered under Class 25 (44.3%), there are over 4,700 valid marks and more than 1,600 pending. In addition to “shapewear” other top product descriptions in Class 25 include “underwear” and “trousers”.

The top 3 Registries are the United States USPTO which has issued the majority of registrations (2,500), followed by the United Kingdom IPO (1,600) and Australia's IPAU (just over 430 thousand).

Shapewear’s popularity shows no signs of slowing. By 2022, the market is expected to shoot up to about $5.6 billion in sales. That is the kind of growth that is not minded!

4. Post-workout massage guns

Five years ago, chances are you would never have met anyone who had run a marathon.  Skip to 2020, and you yourself have probably either signed up to a 26.2-mile challenge or know someone who has. Or maybe you have gone even further and completed an ultra-marathon. Extreme endurance sports, once the domain of elite athletes, now has a wide range of participants of all ages.  

Training for an endurance race or partaking in workouts that push your body to extremes, such as Crossfit, can come with a tidal wave of pain. One way to help your aching muscles recover is through massage.  

Sports massage products have leapt onto the market in the last few years, like recovery balls and lotions. And, the latest trend is the post-workout massage gun. Not only is it used by athletes to relax muscles, it can also help those suffering from stress to untense. Something that many of us enjoy doing.

Running an ExaMatch preliminary trademark search today, using the product description term “massage gun”, reveals more than 25 trademarks, of which all but 2 are still pending. This is a very new product and the first trademark application was only made last year in March 2019 for the mark PRIMETIME SPORTS in Class 10 (Massage apparatus) and Class 28 (Toys and sporting goods) by owner Alec Beyersdorf in the United States.

The United States USPTO holds the major share of these registrations, followed by Canada’s CIPO and Australia’s IPAU. 

5. Athleisure

Although fashion trends change constantly, since the turn of the Millennium, athleisure (the art of dressing while combining sportswear with ready-to-wear) has stayed fairly constant. And with so many of us working from home these days the more casual look is sure to continue. Thanks to celebrities like the Duchess of Cambridge, Brad Pitt, Kendall Jenner, and model Gigi Hadid, active wear worn for leisure has never looked so cute.

Outside of the big brands like Nike and Adidas, brands like Sweaty Betty and Year of Ours are attracting major attention.  

There are currently over 140 valid and pending trademarks under athleisure with applications dating back as far as the year 2000. The vast majority have been registered very recently however, in the past two years. As is probably expected, America is the home of most of the athleisure marks with the USPTO taking 62.9% of the share.

Thoughts to the future

At the time of writing, the way we all live and work is changing. Much of the world is practicing the new art of social distancing and many trademark professionals are now working from home. According to business news reporter Will Goodbody for RTE, online retail sales have soared due to restrictions and consumer spending has changed dramatically in the last month. It will be fascinating to see how this extraordinary period in human history will change the product trends of the future. 

A look back 

Did you know that over the last decade the overall volume of the trademark application pool grew by 72% in the USPTO and by 139% in the EUIPO? 

Our latest report “The Last Decade in Trademark Numbers” contains a detailed overview of USPTO and EUIPO trademark filing activity in the top 5 Nice Classes, over the last 10 years. In addition you get:

  • Data analysis of each Nice Class
  • Top product descriptions (overall and class-specific)
  • Success rates 
  • Opposition rates 

Download your copy now to see a unique overview of the last decade in trademark numbers!

DOWNLOAD REPORT: The Last Decade In Trademark Numbers

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