EUIPO finds huge rise in ‘green’ trade marks

1st Nov 2021

‘Green’ terms relating to the environment and sustainability have seen seismic increases on the EU trade mark register since 1996, a new EUIPO report has revealed.

EUIPO sign

The results of the study found a 900% increase in ‘green’ trade marks being filed, demonstrating that “growing interest in sustainability is indeed reflected in the EUTMs filed at the EUIPO”. 

‘Solar heating’, ‘wind energy’ and ‘recycling’ are a few of the 900 terms driving the increases in ‘green’ trade mark filings at the EUIPO since it first opened. 

An algorithm searched through the more than 65 million terms used in EUTM applications filed since 1996 to identify applications that contained a ‘green’ term. 

It found that in 1996 the EUIPO received 1,588 filings relating to sustainability. In 2020, that number jumped to nearly 16,000. 

This also represents a proportional increase: in 1996, green filings made up less than 4% of the overall. In 2020, more than 11% of filings contained one or more of the identified keywords.

Energy from outside the EU

Non-EU based filings accounted for the largest numbers of non-EU ‘green’ trade mark applications in 2020 – with filings from China a big factor. South Korea, Switzerland and USA also account for large numbers of non-EU filings. 

The UK, now outside the EU, fell into the top three filers for categories including biofuels, ecology, and environmental services. 

The EU member states with the most green EUTM filings were Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Top categories 

Terms such as ‘energy saving’, low energy lighting’ and ‘storage of electricity’ were key to the growth of registrations in the biggest energy conservation category, which was also the largest category identified. 

38% of those filings were related to “storage of electricity”, a category dominated by Chinese firms.

Pollution control, energy production and transportation have also formed a large part of the green revolution in sustainability related filings over the past 25 years. 

However, only 6% of EUTM applications relate to reuse or recycling.

The study evidence of companies of all sizes filing ‘green’ trade marks and shows that the trends are consistent within the EU and further afield.  

Click here to read the EUIPO’s full study.