Trade mark registration fee to fall
The cost to businesses of protecting their brands is set to fall as both the UK and Europe take steps to reduce the price of applying for a trade mark.
European Union (EU) member states have agreed to cut the charge of applying and registering for a Community Trade Mark (any trade mark which has been registered in the EU) by 40%. This is expected to be introduced in early May.
Meanwhile, the UK-based Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has announced a public consultation as it reviews its trade mark fees and services.
The review will consider proposals that could see an overall drop in the charges for trade mark registration and more flexibility over when businesses have to pay for the service, including a discount for businesses filing trade marks electronically and a reduction in the fees paid to oppose the registration of a trade mark by another business.
The review has been prompted by a 12% drop in patent and trade mark applications in the UK last year.
“About a third of trade mark applicants are small businesses and we hope that they will tell us what they think of the proposals,” said IPO business outreach manager Miles Rees. “These potential changes would particularly benefit owners and managers of small businesses.”
David Lammy, the minister of state for intellectual property, added:
“The consultation looks at measures which will help businesses to continue to register intellectual property rights in a downturn and to meet the needs of all customers.”
The registration process for both UK and EU trade marks involves an examination process, in which an application is assessed to ensure it meets stringent trade mark requirements, no similar trade marks are currently registered and publication in a trade mark journal.