Seismic OHIM website relaunch brings offers of help

As many users of the new Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) website may have realised this week, while the new site does look beautiful, there are still some technical issues which affect its functionality.  OHIM has graciously recognised this and, on its website, has been updating its users on a regular (daily, indeed hourly) basis
"... about the problems with our new site. Until those problems are resolved, we will publish regular daily updates on our progress. If you are experiencing problems, please contact us [you should be able to do this via -- when it's working, which it wasn't when Merpel last tried it]. We very much appreciate the feedback that we have received to date, and we would ask you to continue letting us know about any problems you encounter".
As the contact form link on OHIM's website might not work when the site is down, Merpel recalls that OHIM can also be contacted via the below alternative channels of communication.
Phone +34 965 139 100Email: information@oami.europa.euFax +34 965 131 344
Preparing to test Espacenet
Indeed,both Merpel and the IPKat (and no doubt their keen and enthusiastic readers too) are always willing to assist OHIM in trialling any bits of their updated website that are not yet quite fit for purpose.  Some of our readers may recall that the IPKat was invited by the UK IPO to do just this some years ago.  The EPO also recently asked the IPKat to find triallists for Espacenetas per this week's Tuesday Tiddlywinks roound-up (here).  The Kats do hope that everything will work smoothly very soon.  No doubt, they purr, the Office will be most lenient when it comes to any (priority) deadlines that were missed as a result of this surprise inconvenience, they confidently optimistically predict.

While we're on the subject of OHIM, there's one small point about which Merpel is quite curious.  Why, when the Community Trade Mark Regulation spells "harmonisation" with an "s", does OHIM choose to spell it with a "z"?  You don't think it matters?  Merpel's Google search for Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market with the "s" received 758,000 hits to Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market's 631,000.  Someone should be made to pay for this outrage, she says.
Seismic OHIM website relaunch brings offers of help Seismic OHIM website relaunch brings offers of help Reviewed by Merpel on Saturday, December 07, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. re: z versus s in harmonisation. I used to work at a patent firm where they decided to harmonise the way letters were written, in particular:
    - whether there would be open or closed punctuation (i.e. whether 'Dear Sirs' needed to be followed by a comma
    - whether we needed to always have the dots after the initials in the company name
    - the extent of capitalisation (i.e. should you have a capital for Opponent, Application, Applicant, Oral Proceedings).

    After much discussion, debate and disagreement a set of guidelines was produced where it would be understand there would be circumstances where one could deviate from the guidelines, and the guidelines were soon forgotten about. So getting harmonisation right on the small things is no easy task.

  2. Please see below ITMA's email update to its members concerning this issue. They are on the case...!

    From: ITMA []
    Sent: 04 December 2013 13:49
    Subject: New OHIM website

    Dear ITMA Member,

    We are aware that many of you are experiencing issues with the new OHIM website, in filing data and in viewing data. We know that OHIM are aware of at least some of the problems, since they have issued a notice as follows on their website:

    “OHIM has launched a new CTM e-filing system for its users, available through its website. However, due to increased demand, the system is currently experiencing congestion, especially at peak times of the day (between 11:00-13:00 CET and 15:00-16.00 CET).

    This is slowing down the e-filing process in many cases, and we regret the disruption that this is causing to users. Rest assured that OHIM´s IT department is working to resolve this issue. We will keep you informed of updates on CTM e-filing via the OHIM website news feed. Meanwhile, OHIM´s Information Centre specialists are standing by to handle any queries you might have on the new website, and can be reached via email or telephone on +34 965 139 400.”

    This notice does not reference all the problems, however, and clearly there is much to be done.

    We would suggest that in the first instance you contact OHIM to raise any issues you are experiencing, in as much detail as possible. We have also sent a general communication to OHIM to advise of some of the issues we have been made aware of and to notify them that many of our members are encountering problems. We have asked for assurance that the issues will be dealt with expeditiously, and encouraged them to pay attention to your specific complaints. A copy of our communication can be found below:

    Dear Sirs,

    We write on behalf of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA), the UK membership organisation for Trade Mark Attorneys and for the Trade Mark & Designs legal profession. On behalf of our members, we write to join our voice to the chorus you are receiving.

    The new website runs extremely slowly and it frequently crashes, sometimes with considerable loss of data (and user's time) if the crash occurs during an e-filing.

    With concern and disappointment, we must express our strong belief that the new system is simply not yet fit for purpose, neither for viewing data nor for inputting data (including filing date-critical applications).

    We know that the Office closes for Friday 6 December. May we assure our members that the long weekend will give you the opportunity to fix these issues, and that all will be well on Monday 9th December?

    We also take this opportunity to note that many of our members will be contacting you separately and directly. We urge you please to review their letters and specific issues: this email is intended as a general support which addresses some key points and not as a substitute for their detailed critiques.

    We look forward to hearing from you urgently, please.

    Yours faithfully

    Catherine Wolfe


    Keven Bader
    Chief Executive

    Should we receive any further information from OHIM we will share it with you.

    Kind regards

    The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys

  3. The "increased demand" for OHIMs e-filing system is because it doesn't effin work! It took me a week to file one CTM and even then I got an error message (which I ignored). How can a massive organisation like this introduce a system which clearly hasn't been destuction tested beforehand? Any university IT graduate could come up with a more reliable system.

  4. Even eSearch and accessing the public part of a file is not working.
    At least TMView still lives.

  5. Filing design applicatons seems to be a complete lottery now. When you click on the link to start a new application it says it is quick and easy. It certainly used to be, but now it is taking me as much as three times longer to file applications. It's got to the stage where I would just as soon clients didn't ask me to handle RCDs!


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