European Community Trade Mark (CTM) applicants can now have their applications examined and published faster, by selecting the Fast Track when applying.  It is expected that Fast Track applications will be examined and published in at least half the time of a regular application.

In order to take advantage of the Fast Track procedure, the goods and/or services applied for must be selected from OHIM's harmonised database (a database of terms already accepted by OHIM).  Although there is no additional charge payable in order for an application to be examined on the Fast Track, the official application fee must be paid to OHIM at the time of filing the application, whereas payment can be deferred by one month when filing a regular application.

Applicants need to be aware that if an application filed under the Fast Track procedure is subsequently found to be deficient (for example, it encounters an objection on the grounds that it is descriptive, or any necessary priority or seniority documents have not been provided at the time of filing the application), or a limitation of the goods/services is requested by the Applicant after filing, the application will ‘fall off’ the Fast Track and be treated as a regular application.