The financial crisis continued to affect the Icelandic IP market in 2011, although there were definite signs of recovery. The number of applications for trademark registrations and national patents started to rise again in 2011, after a decrease in 2010 and 2009. The number of applications for validations of European patents and registration of designs also increased, but the number of national patents continued to decrease.
Positive signs included a rising number of Icelandic applicants applying for registrations of trademarks and designs, but the same growth was not seen in patent applications. The total number of IP applications has not yet reached the level it was before the Icelandic banking collapse in 2008 except for the design applications and validations, which have been increasing every year.
Soon after Iceland acceded to the European Patent Convention in 2004, the number of applications for national patents started to decline. In 2005 there were 592 applications for national patents, mostly PCT applications. In 2011, national patent applications were only 71, which was a decrease from the year before. The majority of patent applications in Iceland now come through the European Patent Office (EPO) as national validations of European patents. In 2011, 778 European Patents were validated in Iceland, which was a 36% increase compared to 2010.
Applications for trademarks were 3742 in 2011, which was nearly 9% more than in 2010. Of those, 1306 were applications for national registration, and 2436 were international applications that came through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Applications in both categories increased compared to 2010. However, there are still fewer applications than there were before the banking collapse. Applications for the registration of designs increased in 2010 and 2011.
Iceland is still in accession negotiations with the European Union. Iceland had aspired to vote on European Union membership before the next Parliamentary elections, which are scheduled in April 2013, but that is now deemed unlikely according to news reports.