Another relative grounds consultation

The UK-IPO has launched a mini-consultation pertaining to the changes to the examination of trade marks on the relative grounds.

The Office has already consulted on whether the Trade Marks Registry should adopt a ‘search and notify’ role, i.e. it will search the Register for conflicting earlier marks, and then will notify the applicant and earlier mark-holder, but won’t block the applied-for mark from being registered. However, the earlier consultation revealed widespread support for the owners of earlier CTMs and international marks designating the EC as a whole having to opt in to benefit from this notification.

The present consultation is on how much CTM and international-EC mark-holders should have to pay to opt in. The UK-IPO is putting forward a fee of £200.

Comments are due by 20 June [NOT 6 June as originally posted].

The IPKat thinks that this is pretty steep. In fact, it’s the same fee as to apply for a UK trade mark in a single class. The Kat understands the perceived need to compete with OHIM, and not to disadvantage British trade mark applicants by putting them in a worse position than applicants for CTMs, but he reckons such a fee will bite for British holders of CTMs and international-EC marks, and who might be more likely to opt in. Thus, it’s far from clear that UK plc will be the winner here.
Another relative grounds consultation Another relative grounds consultation Reviewed by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 09, 2007 Rating: 5

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