What is a Typical Trademark ?

In early January of this year, my colleagues from the developer team joked that, as a lawyer in a legal technology company, perhaps I should be leading the charge in embracing technology. They offered to give me a crash course in SQL (Structured Query Language) and I decided to give it a try - I have confronted technology and lived to tell the tale.....

I have a confession to make. I’m not a traditional lawyer. I have always been interested in statistical information as a means to understanding trends in the business and legal fields. As a lawyer, my knowledge on statistical theories and databases is limited, but I was keen to see what I could glean from a tiny portion of the massive data that we have.

 In my work, I have seen thousands of trademarks. I wanted to know;

  • What a 'typical' trademark registration looks like?
  • What is the average length of a registered trademark?
  • How many Nice Classes does it list?

Normally there isn’t an easy way to get this information but thanks to our extensive database and one-of-a-kind technology, this information is now available for everyone.

With the help of our valuable development team, I quickly learned to do basic SQL queries to our database. The statistics cover valid “registered” trademarks and pending applications. Invalid or expired marks aren’t taken into consideration. Furthermore, I have excluded all trademarks having fewer than two letters. I also limited the scope of regions to cover only China, Europe and North-America.

Main statistical findings

The typical trademark registration is 11.28 characters long

How many characters trademarks have by regions?
Continent Average Max length Mode Standard Deviation
China 2.30 85 2 1.38
EU 14.01 1823 7 12.43
NA 14.36 6601 8 13.22

it is registered in 2.13 classes

How many Nice class registration trademarks have by regions?
Continent Average Max length Mode  Standard deviation
China 1 1 1 0
EU 2.27 45 1 2.73
NA 1.51 46 1 2.64

and it has approximately 2.14 words in it

The number of words in Trademarks by regions?
Continent Average Max length Mode  Standard deviation
China 2.3 85 2 1.38
EU 2.06 400 1 1.85
NA 2.07 856 1 2.01


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Interestingly, the data shows that the local culture has a great impact on trademark registration. In Europe, for example, trademarks have more registered classes than North-American or Chinese trademarks. Even though it is already a well-known fact that multi-class applications are not allowed in China, this data shows that there are no exceptions for this. Another curious fact was that European and North-American trademarks are generally longer and have more words than Chinese ones.

Trademark applications are broadly similar in Europe and North-America. EU trademarks are frequently registered for several products when on the other hand, US trademarks tend to be longer. China has its own system and registration process which is very different to the EU and US.

There are annually over three million trademark registrations in China and one reason for this huge number is that China doesn’t allow multi-class applications. Once again, data proves that China is its own market and one can’t expect that registration process will go the same way in China as in the US or EU.

Why do lawyers need legal data?

The compilation of statistics on trademarks enables legal practitioners to better measure the risk of the registration process and use these findings to best advise their clients, in registration, opposition or in a trial. The access to data and innovative services, whose importance is increasing all the time, are going to be a legal practitioner’s best friend in the future. Far from replacing lawyers, legal technology is facilitating daily tasks and helping to find relevant information promptly. While it is true in every arena, but particularly in the legal field, information is power!

The access to legal data and new technologies will provide new tools for lawyers and it will become as much a necessary part of everyday life as the internet once did. As it relates to trademarks, new methods of searching will make clearance much faster and more efficient than before. The foregoing data statistics show a small and rare glimpse into the averages of the trademark registration process in different countries. I hope you enjoyed reading these findings as much as I enjoyed discovering them. If there are other statistics that would be helpful to you, please do let us know in the comments below.

Our first Trademark Industry Report is coming soon! Click here to get your early bird copy before it gets published!

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by Miikka Timonen.