The European Commission and EU Member States have decided on a substantial reduction of fees and a simplification of the procedure for obtaining trade mark protection. Currently, companies pay two separate fees, one for application and another for registration. From 1 May 2009, the registration fee for Community trade marks will be set to zero. The total cost will therefore drop from EUR 1,750 to EUR 1,050 for a paper application and from EUR 1,600 to EUR 900 for businesses that file their applications online. The current fee for EU validation of an international trade mark will fall from EUR 1,450 to EUR 870. As companies will no longer have to pay a separate fee for registration, this will also shorten the processing time for trade mark registration.

This measure, which follows an initial reduction in 2005, complies with the Commission’s general policy objectives set out in the Small Business Act for Europe and the European Economic Recovery Plan.