As readers of this weblog will know, the European Commission is in the middle of conducting a study on Europe's various trade mark systems. At the heart of this study lies the user survey which the Max Planck Institute is running. This focuses on, among other things, what users of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) feel about the system and how satisfied they are. More information on this survey can be found on the MARQUES website here.
However, there is one very important question which individual users have not yet been asked -- and which should be part of the study. What should be done with the remaining €400 million which is not part of the €50 million mentioned above and which is still sitting pretty in OHIM's bank accounts.
Some frustrated users are suggesting simply letting the money go back into the European Community coffers rather than having it spent on useless anti-counterfeiting campaigns and rather than risk it sneaking into Member States' coffers via national offices' budgets.
MARQUES is looking for answers from users themselves. What would you like to see done with this significant amount of money? Any idea is welcome. Please go to and post your answer here, or email it to the IPKat's friend and long-term inspiration Tove Graulund here.