Fast-Track Trade Mark Applications
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has confirmed details of the new UK fast-track trade mark application service. It is intended that the fast-track service will appeal to those applicants seeking to launch new products to the market within a short timescale, or to begin legal proceedings. The fast-track service does not replace the standard application system, which will remain available to applicants.
The fast-track service will be available for new applications filed electronically from 7th April 2008. The UK Intellectual Property Office will charge 300GBP in addition to the standard application fees in order to fast track applications and all application fees (including the fast-track fee) must be paid upon filing. The two-month period of grace for paying application fees will therefore not apply to fast-track applications. The new service is designed for applications to register single trade marks and applications to register a series of marks may not use the fast-track service.
A fast-track application will be examined and the examination report will be issued (normally by fax or email) within the 10 business days beginning on the first business day after the filing date of the application. Currently, examination reports are issued approximately 6-8 weeks following filing. If the UK Intellectual Property Office fails to issue the examination report within the 10 day period, the fast-track fee (but not the standard application fee) will be refunded and the application will be converted into a standard application.
Applications that are subject to an objection under the filing requirements will be delayed in proceeding to formal examination and applicants will be given the opportunity to either proceed with a standard application (in which case the fast-track fee will be refunded) or continue to use the fast-track service on the understanding that the 10 day period will commence on the day following the day upon which the filing objection is overcome.
If there are no objections to the application then it will proceed to publication in the UK Trade Marks Journal for opposition purposes. If objections are raised by the UKIPO, submissions in support of the application will be made in the usual manner. Whilst the fast-track service relates only to the examination of the application, the UKIPO has stated that examiners will attempt to deal with submissions as quickly as possible. Following publication fast track applications will be subjected to a 3 month
opposition period in the usual manner, before registration may be granted.