Business and Other Briefings

UK IOP: A new simplified trade mark registration system will help businesses register new products, Intellectual Property and Quality Minister Lord Triesman said, as he welcomed amendments to Section 5 of the Trade Marks Act 1994, which comes into force this week.
In future trade mark examiners will no longer automatically refuse applications where there is an earlier similar trade mark.  Instead it will be for the holder of the earlier mark to seek to block the application if they so wish.
Press release ~ What is a trade mark? ~ Changes to the examination process on relative grounds (section 5)
CLG: New guidance published this week will help facilities managers to think about how to monitor energy efficiency & streamline their energy expenditure. One company in Wales that employs 65 people recently reviewed their heating system and installed a new high efficiency boiler - it reduced their energy bill by 18%.
Four year energy efficiency loans of up to £100,000 pounds are available to eligible small & medium companies (SMEs) to help them make changes sooner rather than later.  It is also possible to apply for tax relief via enhanced capital allowances - if a business invests in energy-saving machinery it can write off the whole cost of the equipment against taxable profits in the year of purchase.
Press release ~ CLG – Boilers ~ Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) ~ Institute of Domestic Heating and Environmental Engineers ~ Oil Firing Technical Association ~ Enhanced Capital Grants ~ Interest free energy efficiency loans ~ Heating and hot water systems in your business ~  Providing energy efficiency advice on heating and hot water systems
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced it is introducing new measures to increase its contact with small firms.  The aim is to help firms make faster progress in meeting the FSA's Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) initiative and to identify, more quickly, those firms most in need of regulatory attention.
Building on its current risk-based approach, the FSA is introducing an ongoing programme of structured visits and/or telephone assessments to test the quality of management and progress towards embedding TCF.  The FSA expects to carry out full on-site visits to approximately a quarter of firms in order to verify the assessments and follow-up identified issues.
Press release ~ FSA – Small Firms ~ Tre ating Customers Fairly (TCF) initiative
HMRC: From 19 October, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will start charging penalties for all Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) returns not received by the due date, namely the 19th of every month.  This includes returns due from the start of the new scheme between May and September, including nil returns.
After this date, any return not received from contractors by the due date will be liable to a fixed penalty of £100 and a further penalty for every additional month that the return remains outstanding.
Press release ~ HMRC
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