The Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean with less than 100,000 inhabitants. Data gathered over the past 13 years provides an interesting overview of the country's trademark filing landscape.
Between 2008 and 2021, more than 10,000 trademark applications have been filed in the Seychelles. Over the past eight years, trademark filing numbers have remained steady, with roughly 500 filings per year, excluding a small peak of 650 registrations in 2019. Although the numbers suggest that the Seychelles is not a particularly attractive country for trademark applicants, it is still an interesting area for brand owners to consider.
In the past five years, Class 35 covering "advertising and marketing services" has been the most popular class for Seychelles trademark applications – representing 8% of all applications. In second place is Class 9 for software products, representing 7.5% of applications in this period, followed by Class 36 with 6% and Class 12 with 5%.
The following companies own the largest number of trademarks in the Seychelles:
- Cable & Wireless Ltd;
- Toyota Motor Corp;
- Nissan Motor Co;
- Daimler AG;
- Hyundai Motor Company;
- Novartis International AG;
- ABSA Bank Limited;
- Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin Sca;
- Merck KGaA; and
- Research In Motion Ltd.
US applicants file the highest number of trademark applications, with more than twice the number of domestic applicants. With regard to national applications, two of the largest domestic companies with the highest number of registrations are Cable & Wireless Ltd and Air Seychelles Ltd, which operate in strategic sectors – telecommunications and aviation, respectively. Japanese filers are in third place.
The beverage industry is highly successful in the Seychelles. It is covered by Classes 32 and 33 – Class 32 for juices being the more popular of the two – and features in the top three most requested classes. The company with the most applications in recent years is local company Trois Freres Distillery (Pty), followed by Swiss company Patron Spirits International AG and Mauritian company Phoenix Beverages Limited. Red Bull, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Monster also feature in the top 10. Overall, the United States leads with the most applications.
While the data shows that the Seychelles is not a particularly attractive country for trademark applicants, as its size and location mean that industries struggle to grow, it is still worth registering IP rights there. Considering that the government has announced that it intends to be the first country to vaccinate the entire population against covid-19 and resume its highly successful tourism activity, there is an opportunity for brand owners to invest in what the Seychelles has to offer.
This is a co-published article, which was originally published in the World Trademark Review (WTR).
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