This content is from: European Union

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 applying for 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 disclosed and EU trade mark offices set for shakeup (Managing IP subscription or free trial required for full access).

Proposed CTM fee changes

Individual marksCurrent fee €Proposed fee €
Basic fee1050925
Basic fee – e-filing900775
Basic fee – e-filing using online classification databasen/a725
Fee for second class of goods/servicesn/a50
Fee for third class of goods/servicesn/a75
Fee for each class of goods/services exceeding three150150
Basic fee – renewal15001150
Basic fee – renewal – electronic13501000
Renewal – second class of goods/servicesn/a100
Renewal – third class of goods/servicesn/a150
Renewal – each class exceeding three400300

Collective marksCurrent fee €Proposed fee €
Basic fee18001000
Basic fee – electronic filing and online classification databasen/a950
Fee for second class of goods/servicesn/a50
Fee for third class of goods/servicesn/a75
Fee for each class of goods/services exceeding three300150
Basic fee – renewal30001275
Renewal – second class of goods/servicesn/a100
Renewal – third class of goods/servicesn/a150
Renewal – each class exceeding three800300

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