The use of the EUIPO Trademark System by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises - Motives, Structures and Future Developments

In this project, Fraunhofer ISI analyses structures and motives for SMEs to file trademarks at the EUIPO. The results of the research project are supposed to highlight the importance of SMEs for the innovation process and guide the EUIPO towards expected future trends. Furthermore, we aim to deliver insights on what could attract SMEs to file a trademark. We will use a link between the EUIPO trademark database, that we have set-up as an offline SQL database with most recent data from the EUIPO, and BvDs ORBIS database to identify SME applicants, taking also their ownership into account. Furthermore, we use our ORBIS-PATSTAT link to take further IP rights into account. In addition, we will make use of an in-depth classification of trademarks based on trademark keywords that goes far beyond what is possible with the 45 NICE classes.

We aim to answer the question, how many trademarks are filed by SMEs and MNEs each year and how this ratio has changed over the last decade. In addition, we would like to find out how large the share of trademarking vs. non-trademarking SMEs (and MNEs) actually is, which allows us to make inferences about this share of (technology oriented) SMEs that do not use the trademark system. Once these differentiations are available within our data, i.e. MNE vs. SME and trademarking and non-trademarking SMEs, we will analyse structural indicators, e.g. the number of employees (to be more precise when it comes to the size of the applicants), the region where the applicants are located as well as their sector of economic activity (NACE) and the field(s) in which they are active (NICE classes as well as a self-created in-depth field classification). In a final step, we will analyse, whether SMEs that file trademarks have a better financial performance than non-trademarking SMEs by using a control group design.


  • Trademark- and patent analyses
  • multivariate regression techniques





European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)