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HELPING BUSINESSES REGISTER TRADE MARKS AND DESIGNS

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					             Helping Businesses Register Trade Marks & Patents

                      Consultation On Fees and Services


Contents

Introduction                                 Page 2
Executive summary                            Pages 2-4
Responding to the consultation               Page 4
Impact assessment                            Page 5
Openness/confidentiality                     Page 5
Application fees and services                Pages 6-10
Trade Mark Tribunal fees                     Pages11-13
Summary                                      Page 13


Annex A            Better Regulation Executive Code of Practice on Consultations

Annex B            Organisations and Individuals to whom this Consultation
                   has been sent

Annex C            Impact Assessment




                                  Page 1 of 17
                Helping Businesses Register Trade Marks & Patents

                        Consultation On Fees and Services

Introduction:

1. The Intellectual Property Office is currently engaged in a systematic review of its
trade mark processes. We aim to continue to provide businesses with an efficient
and effective option to register national trade marks, where that is appropriate to
business need, and also a system which helps businesses to continue to protect
their marks during the current economic downturn. We also aim to encourage more
e-business, both as part of our objective of improving the efficiency of the Intellectual
Property Office and as part of the Government’s general drive to encourage e-
business in the UK.

2. We recently commissioned (in September 2008) some initial customer research
to gauge customer satisfaction levels with our current services and to find out if there
were any additional specific services that they would wish us to provide. We are now
aiming to build on this survey by consulting with our wider stakeholders on a range of
proposals. One of these proposals, to introduce reduced fees for e-filed trade mark
applications, may also be taken forward for patent application filings – and so this
consultation document invites comment on that proposal too.

Executive Summary:

3. A summary of the main proposals (the detail will follow from page 6 onwards),
together with the questions we would like you to answer, are outlined below:

Application Fees and Services

       Proposal 1
       To introduce an “Early Assist” application service package for trade marks.
       This would have the following features:

              i)     Help available over the telephone to assist applicants complete
                     the application form;

              ii)    E-filed trade mark applications (only) paying 50% of the
                     standard application and class fees at the time of filing would be
                     examined for registrability (including a search for earlier marks)
                     and an examination report issued, so allowing the applicant a
                     choice as to whether to proceed to publication or to contest the
                     examiner’s assessment (after paying the balance of the
                     standard application fees) or to let the application lapse;

              iii)   If there are any objections or problems with the application, the
                     applicant would have an opportunity to informally discuss these
                     with an examiner before making a decision as to whether to
                     proceed with the application.

                                     Page 2 of 17
Q.1: Would the proposed service encourage more businesses to protect their
trade marks?

Q.2: Would the usefulness of the split fee service be diminished if applications
to register a series of trade marks had to pay all the application fees before an
examination report is issued?

Proposal 2a
To offer a reduction in the application fees for e-filed trade mark applications
where all the application fees are paid at the time of filing.

Q.3: What do you consider to be the barriers to e-filing amongst trade mark
applicants?

Q.4: Do you think that a reduction of around £30 will encourage e-filing of
trade mark applications and prompt payment?

Proposal 2b
To offer a reduction in the application, search and examination fees for e-filed
patent applications or e-filed search or examination requests.

Q.5: What do you consider to be the barriers to e-filing amongst patent
applicants?

Q.6: Do you think that a reduction of around £10 in each of the application,
search and examination fees will encourage e-filing of patent applications and
search and examination requests?

Proposal 3
To abolish applications for series of trade marks altogether or, alternatively, to
introduce a fee supplement of £50 for each mark in a series beyond the first
two.

Q.7: Is there a continued need for the registration of series marks?

Q.8: Would you be willing to pay more to be able to apply for registration of a
series of trade marks?

Q.9: As it costs us more to examine an application to register a series of trade
marks than an application for a single mark, should we charge a supplement
for the examination of a series?

Proposal 4
To withdraw the trade marks fast-track examination service altogether or,
alternatively, to permit its suspension in particular circumstances.

Q.10: The speed of standard examination is comparable to the timescale
envisaged as a fast-track service. Should the fast-track service be withdrawn
altogether?

                              Page 3 of 17
       Q.11: Alternatively, should the Intellectual Property Office be able to suspend
       the fast-track service when the standard examination time for trade marks
       means that the fast-track service of 10 working days provides little or no
       additional benefit?

Trade mark tribunal fees

       Proposals 5, 6, 7 & 8
       To reduce the opposition fee from £200 to £100, to increase the fee for
       extensions of time requests made on Form TM9 from £50 to £100, and to
       extend the same fee to a) extensions of the nine month cooling-off period, and
       b) requests to stay proceedings made outside of the cooling-off procedure.

       Q.12: Should opponents face a smaller upfront official fee given that the
       Intellectual Property Office no longer automatically rejects later conflicting
       trade marks?

       Q.13: Would the proposed reduced trade mark opposition fee be sufficient to
       discourage the filing of speculative or vexatious oppositions?

       Q.14: Should the parties who bring delay to trade mark proceedings pay a
       greater proportion of official fees?

       Q.15: Would higher and new fees for extensions/stays in trade mark
       proceedings encourage parties to conclude negotiations more quickly and, in
       the case of oppositions, during the designated opposition cooling-off period?

Summary questions

       Q.16: Will the reduction in overall trade mark and patent fees help business to
       protect its marks and inventions in the current difficult economic conditions?

       Q.17: Do the reductions and supplements as set out create a fairer system of
       fees?

Responding to the consultation:

4. Please e-mail your answers to the above questions together with any other views
you may have to: consultation@ipo.gov.uk. Alternatively, please use the following
postal address:

Gaynor Ace
Intellectual Property Office
Concept House
Cardiff Road
Newport NP10 8QQ

Tel:   01633 814313


                                    Page 4 of 17
5. In line with the Government’s code of practice on consultations (see Annex A),
please let us have your comments by 1 June 2009.

6. Responses are welcomed from any individual, organisation, company or firm.
Copies of this document, including large print versions, are available from the
contact address given above. A full list of the organisations and individuals being
sent this document is given at Annex B.

Impact assessment

7. An initial impact assessment (IA) has been produced and is shown in Annex C.
The IA sets out our initial assessment of the impact that the new proposals will have
on our users if they are implemented. Please take the time to read the IA and let us
have any comments you may have on any aspect of its content. After considering
any comments we receive, and if we decide to implement the proposals, the IA will
be finalised and will accompany the legislation in order that the responsible Minister
can confirm that the benefits of it justify any costs.

Openness/Confidentiality

8. This is part of a review exercise, the results or conclusions of which may be
published. As such, your response may be made public. If you do not want all or part
of your response or name made public, please state this clearly in the response. Any
confidentiality disclaimer that may be generated by your organisation’s IT system or
included as a general statement in your fax cover sheet will be taken to apply only to
information in your response for which confidentiality has been requested.

9. Information provided in response to this review, including personal information,
may be subject to publication or disclosure in accordance with the access to
information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA), the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004). If you want other information that you request to be treated as
confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of
Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other
things, with obligations of confidence.

10. In view of this, it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the
information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure
of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an
assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic
confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded
as binding. The Intellectual Property Office will process your personal data in
accordance with the DPA and in the majority of circumstances this will mean that
your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.




                                    Page 5 of 17
                           Application Fees and Services

11. Our initial market research informs us that the current trade mark application fee
of £200 plus £50 for any additional classes is affordable for most businesses and
represents good value for money when considering the important right that a trade
mark application seeks to protect. For this reason, we are not proposing any
changes to the “basic” application or class fees. However, we have looked in detail
at our business processes and how this reflects on the fees that we charge. At the
moment, the same fees are charged regardless of the type and method of
application. The proposals are that for those who e-file their trade mark applications
and also pay their FULL filing fees at the time of filing, a reduction of £30 from the
standard cost of £200 will be applied. Similarly, there will be an e-filing reduction of
around £10 in each of the patent application, search and examination fees.

12. For those who make an “early assist” trade mark application (which will also have
to be e-filed) the application fee will remain £200. However, provided that half of the
application and class fees are paid at the time of filing the application, the Office will
issue an examination report before inviting the applicant to pay the balance of the
application and class fees. Accordingly, if the applicant decides not to proceed with
the application, only half the current official fees will have been lost. These proposals
should encourage new and existing users of the intellectual property s ystem to
protect their trade marks and inventions.

13. Some of the proposals below are aimed at introducing clearer relationships
between the fees we charge and the business process tasks required to deal with
them. All of this is particularly important in the current economic climate for
businesses who want to register trade marks or apply for patents.

Proposal 1
“Early Assist” trade mark application

14. We recently withdrew the Trade Marks Search and Advisory Service (“SAS”)
because demand for it was such that it was not economically viable to continue to
operate it. The SAS gave a non-binding view of the likely outcome of a prospective
new trade mark application. Where favourable advice was given, applicants often
wished to take this forward through a formal application. One of the primary reasons
for the use of the service reducing was that the SAS fee was seen as “dead money”
in that it could not be off-set against the cost of a formal application. This problem
became more apparent during the financial climate that businesses currently operate
in.

15. We can see the merit in applicants being able to obtain an early indication of the
prospects of a successful trade mark without committing to paying the full application
fee. We are often asked whether part of the application fee is refundable if an
adverse examination result is received. To this end, we have been considering ways
in which some form of staggered payment can be permitted whilst still allowing an
examination report to be issued. The proposal is outlined below, which will operate, if
implemented, alongside our Central Enquiry Helpline (which provides guidance on


                                      Page 6 of 17
the completion of the application form) and our Classification Enquiry Service, both
of which will remain free of charge.
16. The proposal is that applicants who a) e-file their trade mark application, and b)
pay 50% of the applicable application and class fees, they will receive an
examination report within our standard timeframes. The examination report will
include the result of the examiner’s search for potentially conflicting earlier trade
marks and will set a period in which the remaining 50% of the application and class
fees should be paid. For applicants who are paying a reduced fee in order to receive
the examination report without making full payment, the time period to pay the
balance of the fees will be short (days rather than months). If the fee is not paid
within the time period set, the application will be treated as abandoned.

17. The requirement to pay the balance of the fee within a specified number of days
of receiving the examination report means that it will not be possible, within that
timeframe, to correspond with the examiner and/or to have a hearing. An applicant
wishing to contest (under section 37(3) of the Act) the outcome of the examination
will, therefore, need to pay the balance of the fees before being able to so. However,
as part this service, we will provide an early opportunity for the applicant to discuss
the examination report with the examiner over the telephone.

18. There will be no additional cost for using this service. However, users of the
“early assist” service will not benefit from the e-filing discount described in proposal
2a below. The full application fee will be the standard £200 with additional class fees
of £50 per class. Therefore, the 50% fee required to obtain a filing date and an
examination report will be £100 plus £25 per additional class. Further, it will be a
condition of issuing the examination report before the full application fee is paid that
if the applicant decides to pay the balance of the fee, they must do so either by
credit/debit card or from a deposit account held at the Office.

19. We anticipate that some users would like to be able to apply for a s eries of trade
marks and defer payment of some of the application fees until after receiving the
examination report. We can see the advantage to business of allowing this, but at
the same time we can see that this would add further complexity and administr ative
cost to the process, particularly if applicants applied for a series with a large number
of marks. We are therefore seeking your views on the extent to which the service
would be diminished if applications to register series of marks continued to be
examined only after all the application and class fees are paid. We have assumed for
the purposes of this proposal (only) that the provision for series of marks is not
abolished under proposal 3 below.


       Q.1: Would the proposed service encourage more businesses to protect their
       trade marks?

       Q.2: Would the usefulness of the split fee service be diminished if applications
       to register a series of trade marks had to pay all the application fees before an
       examination report is issued?




                                     Page 7 of 17
Proposal 2a
Fee reduction for electronically filed trade mark applications (eTM3)

20. The Intellectual Property Office’s official fees for trade mark applications are
currently the same for those submitted on a paper based application form as they
are for those submitted on the on-line version of the form. The fee is £200 for a
single class application and £50 for each additional class. One of our long term
strategic aims is to increase the electronic take-up of our services. This is particularly
so in relation to trade mark filings because there are administrative savings (such as
staff costs involved in data capture) that will be made. In view of this, it seems right
that this saving should be passed on to those businesses which make use of the e-
TM3.

21. Coupled to this, it is government policy to promote digital inclusion by seeking to
increase internet access, which was estimated to include 65% of UK households in
2008. The percentage of businesses with access to the internet is higher still. An
incentive supporting e-filing is clearly in line with this policy and accords with one of
the objectives of this consultation paper, as set out above, to have a clearer
relationship between the fees charged and the business costs of administering the
required task. Finally, as the Registrar is in the process of adopting electronic case
files and document management system, encouraging our customers to switch from
paper to electronic filing is something that should be encouraged now.

22. Therefore, for applicants who use our e-TM3 on-line filing system or other
approved methods of e-filing, we propose a fee reduction of the order of £30 from
the basic application fee of £200 (class fees remaining the same). It should be noted
that this proposed reduction would apply only to applicants that pay for their
applications in full at the time of filing - this is because the cost of administering
periods of grace for payment purposes or staggered payments will off-set the
administrative cost saving of e-filing.

23. The Intellectual Property Office is also planning to introduce a goods and
services “pick-list” facility as part of its trade mark e-filing facility. It is likely to utilise
drop down menus of standard individual descriptions of goods and services but,
also, the facility (similar to that already in place) to import a specification of
goods/services from an earlier trade mark which has already been accepted by the
Registrar. We do not intend that all e-filed applications must use the pick-list facility.
We can see that applicants may wish to have a free hand from time to time to craft a
new bespoke specification of goods and services. Nevertheless, applications that are
made solely on the basis of classification terms already approved by the Registrar
will need less resource to process and examine. Consequently, when a “pick list”
facility becomes available (expected to be 2010) we anticipate charging different
fees for those that use the facility compared to those that do not.

       Q.3: What do you consider to be the barriers to e-filing amongst trade mark
       applicants?



                                         Page 8 of 17
      Q.4: Do you think that a reduction of around £30 will encourage e-filing of
      trade mark applications and prompt payment?

Proposal 2b
To offer a reduction in the application, search and examination fees for e-filed
patent applications or e-filed search or examination requests

24. The Intellectual Property Office’s official fees for patent applications are also
currently the same for those submitted on paper as they are for those submitted
electronically (using either our web-filing service or – for registered users – the
epoline service). The application fee is £30, the search fee (in most cases) is £100,
and the examination fee is £70. As with trade mark applications, it is a long-term
strategic aim to increase the usage of our electronic services, since there are
administrative savings to be made, which may be passed on to users of the system.

25. The comments in paragraph 21 earlier, about wider government policy in respect
of digital inclusion and having a clearer relationship between fees charged and
business costs also apply as much to patent application filings as they do to trade
mark application filings. Furthermore, Patents Directorate has already adopted an
electronic patent case-file system (“PECS”), so it seems appropriate to encourage
users to adopt filing methods which work most efficiently with that system.

26. Therefore, for applicants who file Patents Forms 1, AF1, 9A or 10 electronically
and pay the relevant fee electronically at the same time, we propose a reduction of
£10 each from the application fee, search fee and examination fee.

      Q.5: What do you consider to be the barriers to e-filing amongst patent
      applicants?

      Q.6: Do you think that a reduction of around £10 in each of the application,
      search and examination fees will encourage e-filing of patent applications and
      search and examination requests?

Proposal 3
Abolish series trade marks or introduce a series fee

27. Historically, the reason for registration of a series of marks was to enable
proprietors to secure protection for label marks abroad (Report of the Herschell
Committee, 1888,C-5350, Minutes of Evidence, paragraphs 1113, 1116–1121, and
2051–2052), but that reason has long since disappeared. Nevertheless, our
customers have informed us that the ability to apply for a series of trade marks is an
attraction of the UK system. No other EC Member State apart from the UK and
Ireland recognise the concept of a single registration covering a series of trade
marks in their harmonised trade mark laws.

28. The scope for a series of trade marks under section 41(2) of the Act is quite
narrow and a significant proportion of series applications plainly and obviously fall
outside of that scope. Such applications are filed for tactical reasons, sometimes to
provide the applicant with fall-back options in the event that the preferred trade mark
is unregistrable for one reason or another. Even where the marks are intended to

                                    Page 9 of 17
form a legitimate series, the time spent examining series applications is quite
significant, and can take up a disproportionately large part of examination time. This
is particularly so when the application contains a large number of marks. We have in
the past received applications to register hundreds, and in a few cases, over a
thousand marks as a series. This is plainly an abuse of the provision.
29. To deal with the above issues, we have two alternative proposals. We could
abolish the series provisions altogether by revoking the Rules which provide for
them. This would result in a simple process of registration for single trade marks that
would bring us into line with most other Member States and would also remove
potential for abuse of the registration system. Alternatively, we could charge a fee
supplement for a series of marks. For example, we could allow up to two marks as
part of the standard application fee (so reducing the potential for abuse) but for every
mark beyond that, a fee of £50 could be levied; this would target fees to those types
of applications that cost most to administer.

       Q.7: Is there a continued need for the registration of series marks?

       Q.8: Would you be willing to pay more to be able to apply for registration of a
       series of trade marks?

       Q.9: As it costs us more to examine an application to register a series of trade
       marks than an application for a single mark, should we charge a supplement
       for the examination of a series?

Proposal 4
Continuation of the fast-track trade mark examination service

30. In April 2008 the Office introduced a fast-track trade mark examination service
whereby, subject to the payment of an additional fee (£300), we would aim to issue
an examination report within 10 working days of the filing of the application (if the
aim was not met then the additional fee would be refunded). We only expected the
fast-track service to be utilised in exceptional cases and that demand would be low,
this has proved to be the case with an average of around 30 fast-track requests
being made each month. However, the speed of the Intellectual Property Office’s
standard examination service has increased over the last year with current waiting
time now also around 10 working days. Despite this, some applicants are still making
fast-track requests. With continued improvements in our businesses process, we
expect standard examination to remain very fast. Given this, the necessity for having
a fast-track examination process is removed. We certainly do not wish applicants to
pay the fast-track fee if there is a possibility that the standard examination will be just
as fast or only a matter of a day or two slower.

       Q.10: The speed of standard examination is comparable to the timescale
       envisaged as a fast-track service. Should the fast-track service be withdrawn
       altogether?

       Q.11: Alternatively, should the Intellectual Property Office be able to suspend
       the fast-track service when the standard examination time for trade marks
       means that the fast-track service of 10 working days provides little or no
       additional benefit?

                                     Page 10 of 17
                             Trade Mark Tribunal Fees

31. The Intellectual Property Office is also considering making fee changes in
relation to some of the trade mark tribunal activities it performs. The questions on
which we would like your response are outlined at the end of this section rather than
against each individual proposal.

Proposal 5
Reduce the opposition fee

32. The fee to file an opposition (Form TM7) against a prospective trade mark
registration is £200. This level of fee has been considered to be the right one in the
past, however, recent changes to the registration process (of which opposition forms
a part) has made us rethink the matter. Prior to October 2007, if an earlier conflicting
trade mark was identified in the examiner’s search then we would automatically
block the progress of the new application without the owner of the earlier mark
having to do anything. Since October 2007, an earlier conflicting trade mark does not
block the registration of a later trade mark unless the owner of the earlier mark
opposes the later application.

33. There were good policy reasons for making the above change, however, one of
the adverse consequences is that owners of existing trade marks may feel it
necessary to lodge oppositions more frequently than in the past. Indeed the
proportion of applications opposed has doubled from 3% to around 6%. Whilst we do
not consider a fee of £200 to be prohibitively expensive, we do not want a would-be-
opponent to be put off from filing an opposition due to the cost. On the other hand,
we do not want to set the fee too low as this may have the effect of creating
additional speculative opposition cases. We therefore propose a fee of £100 which
appears to strike the right balance between, on the one hand, affordability, and, on
the other, discouraging vexatious behaviour.

Proposal 6
Introduce a fee for an extension to the cooling-off period

34. A cooling-off period is permitted under the Trade Mark Rules for parties in
opposition proceedings to negotiate a settlement without any pressure on the
applicant to file its defence and join the proceedings. The cooling-off period begins if
a joint request from the parties is received on a Form TM9C. The effect is that the
defence, if there is to be one, is required within nine months of the opposition rather
than within the standard two months. If the parties require further time to negotiate, a
Form TM9E may be filed to extend the cooling-off period by a further nine months.
There is currently no fee for either the TM9C or the TM9E.

35. We are keen to encourage parties to resolve disputes amicably, but to also do
so without unnecessary delay. For this reason, we do not propose to levy any fee for
the filing of a Form TM9C in relation to the standard 9 month cooling-off period.
However, we believe that parties wishing to resolve their dispute should usually be

                                    Page 11 of 17
able to do so within this period. Therefore, we propose that for an extended cooling-
off period (TM9E) there should be a fee of £100. We believe that this will encourage
parties to conclude negotiations in a timely manner, yet the extension fee is not
prohibitive to those who really do need the additional time. As an extension to the
cooling-off period is a joint request, it will be up to the parties to decide who files the
form and pays the fee.

Proposal 7
Introduce a fee for staying proceedings for negotiation purposes

36. The vast majority of requests to stay or suspend trade mark proceedings are
based on the parties to the dispute negotiating a settlement. Significant numbers of
cases are stayed for this reason every year. A recent review has revealed that at the
stages at which evidence is due, we have almost as many contested trade mark
cases stayed as we have proceeding. This is despite the fact that in opposition
proceedings (which account for 90% of all trade mark proceedings) the parties have
the option of entering a cooling-off period before proceedings are joined. It is also
possible to continue negotiations in tandem with the normal opposition process
rather than to stay the proceedings. Therefore, and for similar reasons to those
outlined in the previous proposal, we propose to levy a fee of £100 on requests from
the parties to stay trade mark proceedings for negotiations; a new form is likely to be
introduced to administer this process. This will not, however, affect stays of
proceedings due, for example, to ongoing proceedings in the Court; these will
continue to be directed by the Registrar if suitable circumstances have been
highlighted; no form of fee will be required for this.

Proposal 8
Increase the fee for Form TM9 - extension of time (“EOT”) fee

37. A request for an EOT (Form TM9) in any post publication matter relating to a
trade mark or for a retrospective extension of time in relation to a trade mark
application, currently attracts a fee of £50. The fee has been at this level since it was
introduced in 1994. The vast majority of these requests are made during the course
of trade mark tribunal proceedings such as oppositions, usually for the purposes of
filing of evidence to support a case. Even though the time periods permitted for the
filing of evidence are quite reasonable (normally at least two if not three months),
EOT requests are frequently made. A recent review of 50 concluded trade mark
cases revealed that a total of 53 EOT requests had been made.

38. Whilst the ability to request an EOT remains an important right (and for it to be
granted subject to satisfactory reasons), it is essential that matters are normally dealt
with within the timeframes that the Registrar directs. EOTs contribute heavily and
disproportionately to the average time of 18 months it takes for a case to reach a
conclusion. Such delay creates additional cost and increases the period of
uncertainty for both the parties to the proceedings and to the public at large.

39. The current fee does not appear to be high enough to encourage the filing of
evidence within the directed timeframes. For this reason, we propose to increase the
fee for requesting an EOT on Form TM9 in trade mark cases to £100. We consider
this fee to be low enough to ensure that parties are able to afford the fee if they really

                                      Page 12 of 17
do need additional time, but high enough to ensure that parties focus on the task at
hand when they are preparing evidence. The increased fee will apply to all TM9s
required under the Trade Mark Rules, including those filed under Rule 77(4) to
retrospectively extend a missed deadline in examination matters.

40. The above trade mark tribunal fee changes will not increase the overall amount
of fees received by the Office. Indeed, the cut in the trade mark opposition fee is
likely to offset the other changes; the expectation is that the package of changes will
neutralise each other or (depending on how much of an incentive the increased EOT
fee provides) will make a modest overall reduction in fee income. The Impact
Assessment (see Annex C) gives more detail on this. Any reduction in overall fees
reduces the cost burden on business, which is particularly important in the current
economic climate. However, whatever the effect on overall fee income, the proposed
fees give businesses more control over the fees they pay. Those that comply with
the set timetable for proceedings will pay less. The proposed fees, therefore, provide
a more equitable fee structure with earlier right holders able to access the opposition
system more cheaply, and those users who delay the proceedings making a greater
contribution to the cost of operating the tribunal.

       Q.12: Should opponents face a smaller upfront official fee given that the
       Intellectual Property Office no longer automatically rejects later conflicting
       trade marks?

       Q.13: Would the proposed reduced trade mark opposition fee be sufficient to
       discourage the filing of speculative or vexatious oppositions?

       Q.14: Should the parties who bring delay to trade mark proceedings pay a
       greater proportion of official fees?

       Q.15: Would higher and new fees for extensions/stays in trade mark
       proceedings encourage parties to conclude negotiations more quickly and, in
       the case of oppositions, during the designated opposition cooling-off period?

                                     SUMMARY

41. Taking all of the above proposals into account:

   We estimate that a total saving to business in the region of £730,000 per annum
    will be achieved;
   the fees that we charge will also reflect more closely the work that goes into
    dealing with particular types of application which seems a fairer way of doing
    business;
   the changes will make it easier for businesses to deal with us without any
    compromise on quality;
   the changes will assist the Intellectual Property Office to streamline some of its
    work related processes thereby creating the potential for further cost reductions.

       Q.16: Will the reduction in overall trade mark and patent fees help business to
       protect its marks and inventions in the current difficult economic conditions?


                                    Page 13 of 17
Q.17: Do the reductions and supplements as set out create a fairer system of
fees?




                           Page 14 of 17
Annex A

Better Regulation Executive Code of Practice on Consultations

General Principles of Consultation

This consultation is being conducted according to the Code of Practice on Written
Consultation available from the Better Regulation Executive’s website at:
http://bre.berr.gov.uk. This recommends the following criteria:

1. Consult widely throughout the process, allowing a minimum of 12 weeks for
written consultation at least once during the development of the policy.

2. Be clear about what your proposals are, who may be affected, what questions are
being asked and the timescale for responses.

3. Ensure that your consultation is clear, concise and widely accessible.

4. Give feedback regarding the responses received and how the consultation
process influenced the policy.

5. Monitor your department’s effectiveness at consultation, including through the use
of a designated consultation coordinator.

6. Ensure your consultation follows better regulation best practice, including carrying
out a Regulatory Impact Assessment if appropriate.

Comments or complaints

If you wish to comment on the conduct of this consultation or make a complaint
about the way this consultation has been conducted, please tell the Intellectual
Property Office Consultation Co-ordinator, who can be contacted at:

Consultation Co-ordinator
CRM Unit
Room 1R45
Concept House

Tel: +44(0)1633 811195
Fax: +44(0)1633 814232
E-mail: consultation@ipo.gov.uk




                                     Page 15 of 17
Annex B

List of Individuals and organisations consulted

The following is a list of organisations and individuals to whom a copy of this
consultation document has been sent. It is also available on the Intellectual Property
Office website and can be viewed and commented upon by anyone accessing it:

The Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council
The Law Society
The Law Society of Scotland
The Bar Council
The Institute of Patentees and Inventors
IP Federation
Confederation of British Industry
University of London, Queen Mary
British Retail Consortium
Incorporated Society of British Advertisers
Chartered Society of Designers
Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys
Association of British Chambers of Commerce
Enterprise and Small Business
Consumer Focus
Federation of Small Businesses
Licensing Executives Society
International Federation of Industrial Property Attorneys
International Chambers of Commerce
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
Intellectual Property Institute
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
Anti-Counterfeiting Group
Intellectual Property Lawyers Association
British Brands Group
Patent and Trade Mark Group, Institute of Information Scientists
The Patent Judges
The Intellectual Property Sub-Committee of the City of London Law Society
British Pharma Group
The British Agrochemicals Association Limited
British Generics Manufacturers Association
British Library
Centre of Research for Intellectual Property & Technology (SCRIPT)
EC Laws Committee - LES Britain & Ireland
The Appointed Persons
INTA




                                   Page 16 of 17
Annex C

Impact assessment

(Please refer to separate annex document)




                                Page 17 of 17

				
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