1 April 2006 marks the tenth anniversary of the first Community trade marks to be registered, and that means…renewal fees! OHIM has announced how the renewal process will work. The six month window for requesting renewals of marks with a filing date during April 1996 begins in November 2005 and lasts until 30 April 2006 but OHIM will be sending reminder notices out from September 2005. Those who have filed applications filed in April 1996 have not yet matured to registration (e.g. because of lengthy opposition proceedings) will also have to pay renewal fees, but only at the time when the mark is registered.
Once the mark is registered, those applicants will be requested to pay registration fees and renewal fees to ensure continued registration for the period between the 10th and 20th anniversary of filing. Those who pay the registration fees only and do not pay the renewal fees will have their marks registered, but then will immediately receive a notice saying that the registration has expired.
The IPKat says that there’s no excuse for forgetting to renew your CTM. He’s a bit worried though about the prospect of CTM applications that take ten years to process. He also wonders what the legal status of CTMs which are granted but then immediately expire during the window between registration and expiry.