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Which Countries Apply for the Most Trademarks Around the World?


What was the first trademark? The earliest known depictions of “trademarks” are found in Stone Age cave paintings; livestock is shown with branding intended to identify personal property. Ancient Egyptian masonry shows marks and stonecutters’ signs, which identify the stone’s source and the laborer who built with it. Trade guilds in the Middle Ages had distinctive graphic designs to distinguish their work. In fact, some of those marks are still in use today, even if the guilds who created them no longer exist. As with many facets of society, rules and regulations were eventually imposed on this marking system. The first trademark legislation was the Bakers’ Marking Law enacted by the British Parliament in 1266, which required every baker to mark the bread they made. As time went on, global trademark registration became more rigorous to protect the livelihoods of creators in a profit-driven world. There are now trademark registration costs, international trademark registration requirements, and differing sets of international trademark laws. Trademark registration by country varies, but fortunately, there are simple solutions, which we will explore below. But what country registers the most trademarks per year? The team at Nominus.com did a deep dive into the World Intellectual Property Organization’s statistics database to find where the most trademarks are registered around the globe, which can provide intriguing insights into the innovative spirit of international cultures.


What Is a Trademark?

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark “can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services.” Why do you need a trademark? A trademark is essential because it identifies the origin of your products or services, offers legal protection for your brand, and helps prevent fraud and counterfeiting.


Is Registering and Trademarking the Same Thing?

Not quite. You own your trademark as soon as you start using it to distinguish your goods or services. You do establish some rights by using your trademark, but they are limited and are only valid in the geographic area where you provide your product. To obtain stronger, country-wide rights, you need to apply to register your trademark. Although this is not a requirement, a registered trademark is more protected and versatile. For example, you may use your logo as a trademark for handmade pottery you sell at a local artisans’ market, but if you wish to expand and take your business online, officially registering your trademark can fortify your rights nationwide.


Do Trademarks Apply to Other Countries?

No! A U.S. trademark registration will not provide protection for your trademark in other countries. Trademarks are territorial and need to be filed for each country you are seeking protection in. Sounds tedious, right? Fortunately, if you are a qualified owner of a trademark application pending in the United States with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or if your trademark is already officially registered, you can seek registrations in any countries belonging to the Madrid Protocol by filing an international trademark application with the International Bureau of the World Property Intellectual Organization. 
 

What Is the Madrid Protocol?

The Madrid Protocol, or Madrid system, is the primary international system for managing the registration of trademarks in jurisdictions worldwide. It is a convenient and cost-effective way to apply for, manage, and pay for protection in up to 128 countries. The team at Nominus.com can help you register your trademark internationally. Check out our resources for international trademark registration here.


Which Country Has the Most Trademark Applications in the World?

Now that we have explored what a trademark means, let’s take a look at which countries apply for the most trademarks in the world. We analyzed the total trademark applications in 2021 in 145 countries around the world, adjusting for population. Here are the top 20 countries with the most trademark applications per 100,000 people:

1 Monaco
11,609.20
2 Liechtenstein 11,412.44
3 São Tomé and Príncipe  11,376.45
4 Malta 5,494.63
5 Luxembourg 5,431.39
6 San Marino 4,416.16
7 Cyprus 4,058.93
8 Andorra 2,930.63
9 Switzerland 2,133.40
10 Estonia 2,038.75
11 Sweden 1,298.86
12 Netherlands 1,277.79
13 Denmark 1,256.18
14 Barbados 1,228.72
15 Saint Kitts and Nevis  1,179.17
16 Lithuania 1,084.95
17 Germany 1,074.32
18 Finland 1,034.67
19 Ireland 1,017.60
20 Hong Kong 952.51
 

Which Countries Apply for the Most Trademarks per Capita Around the World?

Rank Country Trademark Applications Population Trademark Applications per 100,000 People
1 Monaco 4,545 39,150 11,609.20
2
Liechtenstein
4,486 39,308 11,412.44
3 São Tomé and Príncipe 24,415 214,616 11,376.45
4 Malta 28,548 519,562 5,494.63
5 Luxembourg 35,054 645,397 5,431.39
6 San Marino 1,492 33,785 4,416.16
7 Cyprus 37,265 918,100 4,058.93
8 Andorra 2,369 80,836 2,930.63
9 Switzerland 187,105 8,770,283 2,133.40
10 Estonia 27,152 1,331,796 2,038.75
11 Sweden 136,493 10,508,669 1,298.86
12 Netherlands 227,020 17,766,610 1,277.79
13 Denmark 74,471 5,928,364 1,256.18
14 Barbados 3,465 282,000 1,228.72
15 Saint Kitts and Nevis* 566 48,000 1,179.17
16 Lithuania 30,802 2,839,020 1,084.95
17 Germany 900,286 84,079,811 1,074.32
18 Finland 57,205 5,528,796 1,034.67
19 Ireland 52,137 5,123,536 1,017.60
20 Hong Kong 70,515 7,403,100 952.51
21 Belgium 108,499 11,671,737 929.59
22 Singapore 46,618 5,453,600 854.81
23 Italy 480,825 58,853,482 816.99
24 Portugal 83,644 10,344,802 808.56
25 Spain 373,351 47,432,805 787.12
26 Antigua and Barbuda 726 100,772 720.44
27 Iceland 2,731 385,230 708.93
28 South Korea 353,312 51,638,809 684.20
29 Bulgaria 41,565 6,520,314 637.47
30 France 422,102 67,960,000 621.10
31 Latvia 11,660 1,895,400 615.17
32 United Kingdom 409,925 67,081,234 611.09
33 Czechia 63,571 10,525,739 603.96
34 Curaçao 925 153,671 601.94
35 Botswana* 17,783 2,410,338 530.34
36 Norway 28,650 5,475,240 523.27
37 New Zealand 26,273 5,132,864 511.86
38 China* 7,066,435 1,412,600,000 500.24
39 Poland 188,775 37,987,000 496.95
40 Macau 3,238 683,200 473.95
41 Australia 118,936 26,003,225 455.31
42 Montenegro* 2,537 621,306 408.33
43 Slovakia 22,048 5,434,712 405.69
44 Mauritius 5,021 1,266,334 396.50
45 United States 1,193,938 333,299,945 358.22
46 Hungary 31,122 9,689,000 321.21
47 Croatia 11,943 3,871,833 308.46
48 Turkey 223,645 84,680,273 264.11
49 Romania 49,506 19,038,098 260.04
50 Canada 99,511 39,017,820 255.04
51 Saint Maarten* 108 42,577 253.66
52 Chile 50,242 19,828,563 253.38
53 Samoa 502 199,853 251.19
54 Israel 23,328 9,608,540 242.78
55 Japan 249,568 125,927,902 198.18
56 United Arab Emirates* 16,521 9,282,410 177.98
57 Panama 7,590 4,278,500 177.40
58 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 194 110,696 175.26
59 Brazil 360,562 215,424,390 167.37
60 Argentina 77,625 47,327,407 164.02
61 Costa Rica 8,442 5,163,038 163.51
62 Uruguay 5,777 3,554,915 162.51
63 Belize 535 430,191 124.36
64 Qatar 3,481 2,799,202 124.36
65 North Macedonia 2,267 1,832,696 123.70
66 Mexico 158,083 128,533,664 122.99
67 Angola* 38,326 33,086,278 115.84
68 Armenia 3,253 2,963,900 109.75
69 Moldova 2,677 2,597,100 103.08
70 Serbia 6,423 6,797,105 94.50
71 Ukraine 36,598 41,130,432 88.98
72 Dominican Republic 9,120 10,535,535 86.56
73 Peru 28,729 33,396,698 86.02
74 Ecuador 15,037 18,108,388 83.04
75 El Salvador 5,572 6,825,935 81.63
76 Russia 107,929 145,100,000 74.38
77 Grenada* 88 125,000 70.40
78 Mongolia 2,426 3,468,590 69.94
79 Georgia 2,429 3,688,600 65.85
80 Malaysia* 21,411 32,753,600 65.37
81 Syria 13,632 22,125,000 61.61
82 Bahrain 922 1,501,635 61.40
83 Namibia* 1,546 2,550,226 60.62
84 Viet Nam 57,833 98,506,193 58.71
85 Colombia 28,985 51,049,498 56.78
86 Bolivia* 6,445 11,797,257 54.63
87 Suriname 317 598,000 53.01
88 South Africa 32,022 60,604,992 52.84
89 Belarus 4,664 9,255,524 50.39
90 Guyana* 372 743,699 50.02
91 Thailand 32,039 66,862,155 47.92
92 Albania 1,292 2,829,741 45.66
93 Jamaica 1,242 2,734,093 45.43
94 Morocco 16,457 36,786,288 44.74
95 Iran* 36,436 85,961,048 42.39
96 Trinidad y Tobago 559 1,367,558 40.88
97 Mauritania 1,571 4,271,197 36.78
98 Togo 2,860 7,886,000 36.27
99 Gabon 803 2,233,272 35.96
100 Venezuela 9,901 28,302,000 34.98
101 Côte d'Ivoire 10,261 29,389,150 34.91
102 Senegal 5,986 17,223,497 34.76
103 India 458,480 1,375,586,000 33.33
104 Sri Lanka 7,245 22,156,000 32.70
105 Indonesia 89,937 275,773,800 32.61
106 Kazakhstan 6,217 19,354,272 32.12
107 Brunei 134 429,999 31.16
108 Dominica 22 73,000 30.14
109 Cambodia* 4,592 15,552,211 29.53
110 Honduras 2,797 9,546,178 29.30
111 Azerbaijan 2,720 10,204,774 26.65
112 Guinea 3,437 12,907,395 26.63
113 Cameroon 6,414 24,348,251 26.34
114 Bosnia and Herzegovina 851 3,320,954 25.63
115 Guatemala* 4,212 17,109,746 24.62
116 Philippines 25,406 112,721,091 22.54
117 Pakistan 43,895 235,825,000 18.61
118 Guinea-Bissau 272 1,646,077 16.52
119 Cape Verde 93 563,198 16.51
120 Benin 1,964 12,506,347 15.70
121 Uzbekistan 5,534 35,895,911 15.42
122 Yemen 4,879 33,697,000 14.48
123 Algeria 6,562 45,400,000 14.45
124 Mali 3,192 22,594,000 14.13
125 Burkina Faso 2,972 21,510,181 13.82
126 Saudi Arabia 4,342 35,013,414 12.40
127 Zambia 2,098 18,400,556 11.40
128 Papua New Guinea* 1022 9,122,994 11.20
129 Cuba 1,175 11,113,215 10.57
130 Comoros 70 758,316 9.23
131 Equatorial Guinea 136 1,505,588 9.03
132 Eswatini* 88 1,202,000 7.32
133 Republic of the Congo 432 5,970,000 7.24
134 Kyrgyzstan 475 6,800,000 6.99
135 Bangladesh 10,950 165,158,616 6.63
136 Zimbabwe* 964 15,178,979 6.35
137 Ghana* 1,929 30,832,019 6.26
138 Mozambique 1,576 31,616,078 4.99
139 Madagascar 994 26,923,353 3.69
140 Sudan* 1,206 44,933,280 2.68
141 Lesotho* 47 2,306,000 2.04
142 Niger 468 24,112,753 1.94
143 Jordan 150 11,347,332 1.32
144 Central African Republic 68 5,633,412 1.21
145 Chad 140 16,818,391 0.83


How the 25 Most Populous Countries Compare

Rank Country Trademark Applications Population Trademark Applications per 100,000 People
1 Germany 903,286 84,079,811 1,074.32
2 Italy 480,825 58,853,482 816.99
3 Spain 373,351 47,432,805 787.12
4 South Korea 353,312 51,638,809 684.20
5 France 422,102 67,960,000 621.10
6 United Kingdom 409,925 67,081,234 611.09
7 China* 7,066,435 1,412,600,000 500.24
8 United States 1,193,938 333,299,945 358.22
9 Turkey 223,645 84,680,273 264.11
10 Japan 249,568 125,927,902 198.18
11 Brazil 360,562 215,424,390 167.37
12 Argentina 77,625 47,327,407 164.02
13 Mexico 158,083 128,533,664 122.99
14 Russia 107,929 145,100,000 74.38
15 Viet Nam 57,833 98,506,193 58.71
16 Colombia 28,985 51,049,498 56.78
17 South Africa 32,022 60,604,992 52.84
18 Thailand 32,039 66,862,155 47.92
19 Iran* 36,436 85,961,048 42.39
20 India 458,480 1,375,586,000 33.33
21 Indonesia 89,937 275,773,800 32.61
22 Philippines 25,406 112,721,091 22.54
23 Pakistan 43,895 235,825,000 18.61
24 Algeria 6,562 45,400,000 14.45
25 Bangladesh 10,950 165,158,616 6.63


The 25 Countries That Applied for the Most Trademarks in 2021

Rank Country Trademark Applications Population Trademark Applications per 100,000 People
1 China* 7,066,435 1,412,600,000 500.24
2 United States 1,193,938 333,299,945 258.22
3 Germany 903,286 84,079,811 1,074.32
4 Italy 480,825 58,853,482 816.99
5 India 458,480 1,375,586,000 33.33
6 France 422,102 67,960,000 621.10
7 United Kingdom 409,925 67,081,234 611.09
8 Spain 373,351 47,432,805 787.12
9 Brazil 360,562 215,424,390 167.37
10 South Korea 353,312 51,638,809 684.20
11 Japan 249,568 125,927,902 198.18
12 Netherlands 227,020 17,766,610 1,277.79
13 Turkey 223,645 84,680,273 264.11
14 Poland 188,775 37,987,000 496.95
15 Switzerland 187,105 8,770,283 2,133.40
16 Mexico 158,083 128,533,664 122.99
17 Sweden 136,493 10,508,669 1,298.86
18 Australia 118,396 26,003,225 455.31
19 Belgium 108,499 11,671,737 929.59
20 Russia 107,929 145,100,000 74.38
21 Canada 99,511 39,017,820 255.04
22 Indonesia 89,937 275,773,800 32.61
23 Portugal 83,644 10,344,802 808.56
24 Argentina 77,625 47,327,407 164.02
25 Denmark 74,471 5,928,364 1,256.08

*Figures for Angola, Botswana, China, and Zimbabwe are based on total trademarks registered in 2021; Iran, Lesotho, Malaysia, Montenegro, Namibia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Zambia are based on total trademarks registered in 2020; Guatemala is based on total trademarks registered in 2019; Grenada, Guyana, and Saint Kitts and Nevis are based on total trademarks registered in 2018; Bolivia is based on total trademarks registered in 2017; Papua New Guinea is based on total trademarks registered in 2016; Cambodia and Jordan are based on total trademarks registered in 2015; and Eswatini and Sint Maartin are based on total trademarks registered in 2014.