GENEVA — Shiseido Co. Ltd. posted a sharp increase in international trademark application filings in 2018 to 79, up from 33 a year ago, and moved the company up 37 places to be ranked seventh globally, just a few slots behind second-place L’Oréal with 169 applications, down from 198, a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization said.
The WIPO report shows a growing concern by fashion and beauty companies in the global economy to protect their brands and commercial interests, in particular, against abuse by counterfeiters — both online and via traditional retail distribution — with filings in a broad range of categories, from apparel and footwear to textiles and leather goods.
The WIPO data show that Abercrombie & Fitch Europe SA made 37 filings, and Chanel, 30, while the German discount food retailer Lidl made 28 filings; Chanel Sarl, 25; Louis Vuitton Malletier, 18; Guccio Gucci SpA, 17; LMVH fragrance brands, 14; Lancôme Parfums et Beaute & Cie, 13; Parfums Christian Dior, 12; Avon Products Inc., 12; Giorgio Armani SpA, 10; Brooks Sports Inc., nine, and German-based fashion brand GMBH, eight filings.
Overall, there were 6,315 new filings of international trademarks in apparel and footwear last year; 3,263 in leather goods, including travel goods, and 1,799 in textiles, WIPO said. It concluded that international trademark applications in all sectors increased by 6.4 percent in 2018 to 61,200, with the U.S.-based applicants making 8,825, followed by those located in Germany (7,495), China (6,900), France (4,490), Switzerland (3,364), the U.K. (3,347) and Italy (3,140).
South Korea and Japan, WIPO said, registered the fastest growth in international trademark filings with increases of 26.2 percent and 22.8 percent, respectively.
Asked if the increase in online sales by fashion and beauty companies was putting pressure on them to take steps to protect their trademarks, Francis Gurry, WIPO director-general, told WWD: “Absolutely, because of course, the online market has the great advantage of the expansion of the number of consumers that you can reach. But it has the great disadvantage of the vulnerability, or copiability, if you like, of the trademark.”
Meanwhile, a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office published Monday on “Trends and Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods” said the value of imported fake goods worldwide based on 2016 customs seizures data stands at $509 billion, or 3.3 percent of global trade, up from $461 billion in 2013, then equivalent to 2.5 percent of world trade.
The goods making up the biggest share of 2016 seizures in value terms, the report said, were footwear (22 percent), apparel (16 percent), and leather goods (13 percent). It also noted fake watches accounted for 7 percent of shipment seizures, perfumes and cosmetics (5 percent) and jewelry (2 percent).
The majority of fake goods shipments seized originated in mainland China and Hong Kong, the study found, and noted other major points of origin included Turkey, Singapore, Thailand, India and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2016, the countries most affected by counterfeiting, it said, were the U.S., whose brands or patents “were concerned by 24 percent of the fake products seized,” followed by France (17 percent) and Italy (15 percent).