Figures reveal early pandemic rush for covid-related brands
Cape Verde, an island state formed by an archipelago of 10 islands, benefits from its geographical position and has an economy based on the service sector, including trade, transport, tourism, public services and fish exports and clothes.
Despite this, natural resources are scarce, with prolonged water shortages reinforced by long cyclical periods of drought and infertile soils on many of the islands. Although around 40% of the population lives in rural areas, food production represents a small percentage of GDP (4.9% in 2020), with around 70% of food imported. Cape Verde imports fuel and machinery, as it produces neither.
Given these facts, it is not surprising that foreign companies have applied for the registration of trademarks in the Nice classes related to rare goods: class 12 (vehicles); Class 4 (lubricants and fuel); and Classes 29 and 30 (meats and processed foods; staple foods).
During the first months of 2020, the medical and pharmaceutical industries focused on the protection of their intellectual property rights in several countries to safeguard the ownership of their intellectual and industrial creations, in particular those involving the fight against covid-19 . Cape Verde was no exception and it is now clear that the start of 2020 has seen an increase in trademark filings under Nice 1 (chemicals) and 5 (pharmaceuticals and medical supplies) classes. )
Although these pharmaceutical and health-related products and services represent only a small percentage of existing trademark rights in Cape Verde, they are a significant group.
Including only trademark applications published in IP Bulletins (we exclude trademark applications pending publication, as they have not yet been made public), the following are worth highlighting.
There are 13 marks belonging to classes 1 and 5 published from 2020 to present. Of this total, 53.3% were requested in Class 5 and 46.7% were requested in Class 1.
The first three owners were:
- AstraZeneca UK Limited;
- Abbott Rapid Diagnostics International Subsidiary Company Unlimited; and
- Abbott Rapid Diagnostics International Company Unlimited.
Among these, AstraZeneca UK Limited, focused on class 5, namely pharmaceutical products, preparations and substances, aimed more directly at vaccination. On the other hand, Abbott asks for protection both on classes 1 and 5, aimed at vaccination, but also for diagnostic preparations used in science.
The main product categories were:
- diagnostic products for scientific use; and
- Drug screening reagents.
Besides this focus on Class 1 and 5, there has also been a significant increase in covid-related brands in other industries with products and services that help fight the coronavirus. For example, the transport industry (with urgent delivery services for medicines and vaccines), the clothing industry (with the wearable materials needed to protect healthcare professionals and the population) and the machinery industry. (with medical equipment oriented products and services), among many others.
This is a joint edition item, originally published in the World Trademark Review (WTR).