GENEVA L’Oréal — the world’s top filer of international trademark applications in 2019 — slipped to the fifth position in the latest annual rankings, as it filed 78 fewer applications last year for a total of 115. However, Shiseido surged five slots to third place with 130 filings, sharply up from 70 a year earlier, a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, “the trend is that innovation remains resilient,” Daren Tang, WIPO director-general, said in a virtual news conference.

The latest application metrics by the Geneva-based WIPO show that fashion and beauty companies worldwide were active filers.

The WIPO findings show that Abercrombie & Fitch Europe SA made 48 filings, up from 38; Louis Vuitton Malletier made 23 filings; Giorgio Armani S.P.A. 21 filings (up from 10); Richemont International S.A., 17 (versus 14); Moncler S.P.A.,16 (up from 15); Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., 14 (versus 13); U.S.-based Rare Beauty LLC, 12, and China’s Nanjing Guanbai Clothing Co. Ltd, 10.

Nevertheless, WIPO data also show that several brands, aside from L’Oréal, filed substantially fewer applications in 2020, including LVMH Fragrance Brands, with 13, down from 25 a year earlier; Hermès International, with 16 (22), and Chanel Sarl, with 15 (21).

Overall, international trademark applications in all sectors, WIPO said, contracted slightly for the first time since the 2008-09 financial crisis, falling by 0.6 percent to 63,800 in 2020.

But WIPO economists noted the slight dip was expected “given that trademarks tend to represent the introduction of new goods and services — both of which slowed as a result of the pandemic.”

In 2020, U.S.-based residents, WIPO said, filed the largest number of applications with 10,005 (with apparel and accessories accounting for an 8.8 percent share), or a fraction down from 10,090 the year before, and retained the title as the country with the most applications, followed by Germany (7,334), China (7,075), France (3,716) and the United Kingdom (3,679).

Among the top 10 origins of international trademark applications, WIPO said, China, with an increase of 16.4 percent, was the only country to record double-digit growth in 2020.

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