Further CTM fee cuts to be proposed
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Further CTM fee cuts to be proposed

The European Commission is set to propose slashing the costs of applying for and renewing Community trade marks, according to documents seen by Managing IP

But it will also end the practice whereby applicants get protection in three classes for the price of one.

The Commission is in the process of reviewing the trade mark system in Europe, and is expected to propose changes to the Trade Marks Directive, Community Trade Mark Regulation and Fees Regulation.

The long-awaited proposals have still not been published, but Managing IP has seen the latest drafts and they include significant changes affecting both the Community trade mark (CTM - but due to be renamed ETM) and national trade mark systems in the EU.

Of particular interest to applicants and owners of CTMs will be the changes to the Fees Regulation 2869/95.

The Commission proposes reducing the cost of applyingfor a CTM in one class from €1050 to €925, with the cost of filing online reduced from €900 to €775, or €725 if the online classification database is used.

But in what is likely to be an attempt to address criticisms that the CTM registry is becoming cluttered, applicants will no longer be able to get protection in three classes for the standard price.

Instead, they will have to pay an extra €50 for a second class and €75 for a third class.

The same principle will apply to renewals, with the cost coming down to €1150 (or €1000 for electronic filing) for the first class, but new charges of €100 for the second class and €150 for the third class.

There are also reductions proposed for applying for and renewing collective marks, with renewal fees coming down significantly.

See the table below for a full list of the current and proposed fees.

As well as proposing changing the CTM fees, the Commission has recommended changes affecting the protection of CTMs and national marks.

A Commission spokesperson told Managing IP that the proposals had not yet been published and would not comment on any leaks. A spokesperson for OHIM said the Office could not comment on the drafts before they are officially published.

The changes are the result of a wide-ranging review of the trade mark system in Europe, which included an independent study by the Max Planck Institute was published in March 2011. More articles on the review are available on Managing IP’s dedicated page (subscription or free trial required for some articles).

Once the Commission’s proposals are formally published, there is expected to be further consultation. They will have to be approved by EU member states before they can come into effect.

OHIM now receives more than 100,000 CTM applications a year and has hundreds of millions of euros in the bank. CTM fees were last reduced in 2009. Since then, some of the surplus money has been spent on cooperation projects involving OHIM and national offices in Europe.

See also: Details of CTM overhaul disclosedand EU trade mark offices set for shakeup(Managing IP subscription or free trial required for full access).

Proposed CTM fee changes

Individual marks

Current fee €

Proposed fee €

Basic fee

1050

925

Basic fee – e-filing

900

775

Basic fee – e-filing using online classification database

n/a

725

Fee for second class of goods/services

n/a

50

Fee for third class of goods/services

n/a

75

Fee for each class of goods/services exceeding three

150

150

Basic fee – renewal

1500

1150

Basic fee – renewal – electronic

1350

1000

Renewal – second class of goods/services

n/a

100

Renewal – third class of goods/services

n/a

150

Renewal – each class exceeding three

400

300


Collective marks

Current fee €

Proposed fee €

Basic fee

1800

1000

Basic fee – electronic filing and online classification database

n/a

950

Fee for second class of goods/services

n/a

50

Fee for third class of goods/services

n/a

75

Fee for each class of goods/services exceeding three

300

150

Basic fee – renewal

3000

1275

Renewal – second class of goods/services

n/a

100

Renewal – third class of goods/services

n/a

150

Renewal – each class exceeding three

800

300


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