In the midst of COP26, when our newsfeeds are being flooded with sustainability related posts and Greta Thunberg chanting "You can shove your climate crisis up your **** " - it's interesting to see the effect environmental consciousness can have on trade marks.
An EUIPO study has analysed goods and services specifications for the presence of terms related to the protection of the environment and sustainability. Examples include 'photovoltaic', 'solar heating', 'wind energy', 'recycling'. Approximately 900 such terms have been identified as 'green'.
Of the 46,700 applications received in the EUIPO's first year of operation in 1996, 1,588 were "green" trade marks. In 2020, the number had increased to 16,000.
In the last 5-year period, the dominant product groups are Energy Conservation and Energy Production, which together account for more than 52% of green EUTM filings, followed by Pollution Control with 18% of filings, and Transportation (close to 10%).
An algorithm was developed to search through the more than 65 million terms contained in the EUTM applications filed over the years in order to identify applications that contain at least one 'green' term. The purpose was to examine whether the increased concern among the public and policymakers over climate change and environmental degradation is reflected in the EUTM applications. The main finding of the study is that growing interest in sustainability is indeed reflected in the EUTMs filed at the EUIPO. As seen in the graphs below, the absolute number of green EUTMs has increased significantly since 1996, as has the share of green EUTMs, although the latter has oscillated between 10% and 12% during the past decade.
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