Feeds

Trademark fast-track launched, but value questioned

Pay £300 to knock a few weeks off

The essential guide to IT transformation

Trademark applicants will soon be able to pay an extra £300 to be fast-tracked through the system, but one expert has said the new plan will only shave a few weeks from a process that can take years.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has announced that trademark applicants will be able to pay £300 to cut the waiting time for an examination of the trademark from a month or more to 10 days.

"This will help us turn around trademark applications more quickly while still providing our customers with a very high quality service," said Ian Fletcher, chief executive of the UKIPO. "We also want to look at other ways of speeding up the process for registering trademarks."

Lee Curtis, a trademark attorney at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said that the scheme has limited value, though.

"Getting a trademark can take anywhere between six months and a few years. This proposal only reduces that by a few weeks, so will not make a massive difference to the total wait that applicants face. It just means that you pay £300 for an examination within 10 days," said Curtis.

"I don't know that it will be a huge success because an application still has to go through the whole process – including a three month advertising process – which is unchanged by this fast-track option," he said.

The Government carried out a consultation (pdf) on the plan, and one respondent raised similar questions to Curtis's, according to a Government consultation document.

"Two respondents questioned the value of the service (one suggested there was no value at all) without an accompanying reduction in the 3 month opposition period.

"This observation was made because the time saving inherent in the proposed fast-track service was only a very small part of the overall length of time to secure a registration. One of these respondents made similar observations in relation to the time period that elapses between acceptance and publication."

The Government is proceeding with the plan, though, which is its interpretation of a recommendation in the Gowers Report into intellectual property. The report was published in late 2006 by former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers on behalf of the Treasury.

The process will add £300 to existing trademark application costs, as outlined in UKIPO guidance. "This is on top of the standard application fee of £200 and any classes fees (£50 per class)," it said.

"For example, a fast-track application containing two classes will cost £550 (fast-track fee £300, application fee £200 & one additional class fee of £50)."

The new system will come into force on 7 April this year.

Copyright © 2008, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?