TMlink is a worldwide trademark database, in which similar trademarks from different countries have been identified and linked together. This network of internationally linked trademarks provides a unique window into international branding trends.
The TMlink database and linking algorithm were created by lead developer Dr Stephen Petrie at the Centre for Transformative Innovation (Swinburne University of Technology), in collaboration with IP Australia and the University of Melbourne.
The TMlink database
At the heart of TMlink is trademark application and registration data from national offices, where equivalent trademarks have been identified and linked internationally. Thus far, we have extracted trademark application data kindly supplied by the Canadian, New Zealand, US, EU, and Australian IP offices.
We plan to incorporate trademark data from the UK, Germany, and Japan next, and will continue to incorporate application data from other IP offices as they join the project.
The trademark linking algorithm
In addition to building the database itself, we have developed a linking algorithm that identifies equivalent trademarks across different countries. The algorithm can currently be applied to all applications that contain trademark text; i.e. around 96% of all applications.
The algorithm uses trademark application data – such as trademark text and sector classification – to categorise applications into groups, or “bins”, that are likely to include equivalent trademarks. Since around 40% of the trademark-trademark links in these bins are false positives, we then attempt to remove as many of the false positive links as possible. This is done using a neural network-based machine learning algorithm.
The current beta version of the linking algorithm successfully identifies approximately 95% of known linked trademark pairs (which are known to be linked due to shared Madrid registration numbers), and we estimate that around 10% of the asserted links are false positives. We expect these accuracies to further improve as we continue to develop the linking algorithm.
The linking algorithm has currently been run on the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and US data, and will be run on the EU data soon.
The TMlink project receives funding from the Australian Resarch Council (ARC Linkage Grant: LP160100776) and IP Australia, a listed entity within the Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.