The Community Trade Mark Office (OHIM) have announced a new “Fast Track” procedure for trade mark applications which will be available from 24 November 2014. We are advised that it will be provided free of charge.
The OHIM examination system is already quite efficient, applications generally take around 8-11 weeks to reach publication. We understand that under the new procedure an application should be published within 6 weeks of filing.
In order to qualify for ‘Fast Track’ we will need to ensure that the list of goods and services claimed in an application only contains terms that appear in OHIM’s classification database (‘TM Class’). Such terms are automatically accepted and so don’t require input from an Examiner. We will also need to pay the application fees immediately upon filing.
If any deficiencies or registrability issues arise during prosecution of an application it will be taken off the Fast Track process and will be examined and published in the usual way.