It’s not surprising that given the current climate recruitment in general has been down over the past year, however recent months have seen a significant increase in trademark roles across the UK and Europe. In fact, we can’t remember the last time we successfully placed as many candidates in a six-month period and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. The demand has been mostly for attorneys ranging from newly qualified to around 3-4 years’ PQE in direct response to an increase in workload for many firms. Growth has been concentrated in the middle, as the need has been for more capable ‘hands on deck’ as opposed to replacing leavers or welcoming trainees. The recruitment uplift has really ramped up the competitiveness in the job market and firms are having to do their utmost to secure a candidate with multiple options. In addition to this more candidates are starting to consider a move as more roles become available, both through seeing them advertised and being approached by recruiters like ourselves, resulting in increased competition for each role.
Figures recently reported by Clarivate Analytics definitely support this increased need with trademark filing activity in the UK up 88% on 2019 and an impressive 101% on 2020. There were also increases evident across the world, in particular the US (up 49% in 2019 and 62% in 2020), China (42% in 2019 and 48% in 2020) and perhaps surprisingly Mexico who received 84% more trademark applications than the same period in 2020. A lot of our clients scaled down activity in certain areas during the Pandemic and in turn focused more time in others, one of which being trademarks. The ability to complete the majority of the process electronically, as well as UK courts allowing remote hearings, meant that proceedings could continue as normal and firms were able to enforce and protect their clients’ IP rights with minimal disruption.
A shift from physical to online shopping for most of the UK and Europe over the multiple lockdowns saw an increase in counterfeit activity. Many shoppers who may not be that tech savvy were at risk of buying goods from fraudulent sellers, as well as counterfeiters taking advantage of a spike in need for medical goods such as face masks and hand sanitiser. Many companies also needed to take the leap into the digital world in order to stay visible during a time when shopping on the local high street was just not possible.
As well as trying to navigate Covid-19 Brexit finally became a reality for the UK at the start of 2021 after the nearly year-long transition period ended. Since then, the UK IPO has seen trademark applications double. There’s no doubt that this, along with the added administrative burden of the new rights, protection and enforcement, has added to the increased need for extra pairs of hands in the UK and Europe. As restrictions begin to ease and the vaccination roll out continues there could be further growth in what it already turning out to be an extremely busy year for trademarks. So, if you’re thinking about moving and want to get settled in a new role before the (even) harder work begins, why not visit Fellows and Associates’ website for more information?