The UK Intellectual Property Office has announced a new ‘Green Channel’. UK patent applications for green and environmentally friendly inventions can now be accelerated on request. All that is necessary is to make a reasonable assertion that the invention in the patent application is one which has some environmental benefit. Provided that the reasons which are given are found to be acceptable, search, examination and, where relevant, publication, can all be accelerated.
A substantial reduction in the total official fees payable for Community trade mark applications came into effect from 1 May 2009 .
Before this fee reduction, the basic filing fee for a Community trade mark application in up to three classes was €750 when the application was filed electronically. It was also necessary to pay a registration fee of €850 if and when the application was accepted. However, on 1 May 2009 , the official fee for filing a new application in up to three classes was increased to €900, but the registration fee was removed.
Accordingly, although up front costs are now slightly higher, the total cost of obtaining a Community trade mark registration has fallen significantly. As the cost difference between obtaining a UK trade mark registration and a Community trade mark registration has narrowed, it is anticipated that more UK based trade mark applications will elect to file Community trade mark applications which provide protection throughout the EU.