Are you considering trade mark protection in Europe?
If so, then you should take action sooner rather than later to potentially save money.
What is the system?
The idea behind the community trade mark was to encourage brand owners to file on a community basis rather than nationally, developing a unitary European trade mark system. One of the main incentives to do so was to include the first three classes of goods and services in the initial filing fee, essentially enabling an applicant to get three classes for the price of one.
Certain applicants have abused the system by filing in two extra classes in which they do not necessarily have any interest. This acts to block other applicants and in some cases creates an unjustified monopoly of certain trade marks.
What is changing?
The system is expected to change in 2015:
- it is expected that the basic filing fee will be reduced but will cover only one class instead of three; and
- extra classes will incur an additional charge.
Depending on the cost of the second and third classes, how much of a deterrent this is going to be to the large companies it is targeting is questionable.
There is therefore talk of ensuring that the second or third class costs are sufficiently high to deter all applicants from creating monopolies over classes that they don’t necessarily need.
Why is this relevant to me?
If you are considering trade mark protection in Europe you should take action sooner rather than later to benefit from the current regime and potentially save money.
If you need to protect your trade marks in Europe we can help.
We provide a broad range of trade mark services including filing and searching and can discuss how the trade mark application process works, how the UK/EU Intellectual Property Office deals with applications or issues arising post registration.
If you have any queries or would like help with your trade mark protection please contact Stephen Lowry our Trade Mark Specialist on 0191 211 7890.