The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (the European trade mark registry) announced on the 4th March a reduction in official fees for European Community Trade Mark applications.

Under the new Community Trade Mark regime the registration fee, currently at least €850, is to be abolished. The only remaining official fee will be the application fee, which for electronically filed applications is €900 for an application in 3 classes of goods/services. The date of the reduction is yet to be confirmed, however plans for transitional measures providing early cost reductions have also been announced.

The UK Intellectual Property Office has followed suit, launching a consultation on fee reductions and procedure changes to help businesses more easily and affordably register UK trade marks.

In the light of these developments, now may be a good time to consider updating your trade mark portfolio, and reviewing the protection of existing branding.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's trade mark practice provides a full Community Trade Mark, UK and worldwide trade mark filing service in conjunction with advice to ensure our clients' branding is comprehensively protected.