Intellectual Property Office
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IPO announces consultation on trade mark and patent fees
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) today (March 9) announced a review of its trademark fees and services with a public consultation.
A range of options, including a reduced fee package and new support services, aims to help businesses register marks more easily and affordably in the UK, potentially saving them over £700,000 per annum.
The review has been prompted by a decrease in demand for patent and trademark applications in the UK, (down 12% in 2008) with other trade mark offices, including the European trade mark office, also seeing reductions.
A fee reduction for applications to the European trade mark office has this week been agreed by the EU Member States, a move long supported by the UK. The proposals contained in the IPO consultation document will help maintain the UK as a competitive option for businesses looking to protect their intellectual property.
David Lammy, Minister of State for Intellectual Property said:
"In the current economic climate, there is a risk that businesses will not protect their Intellectual Property, which will harm both those businesses and UK competitiveness in the longer term.
"We welcome the fee reduction announced by the European trade mark office. However we also recognise the need for the Intellectual Property Office to keep improving its services, ensuring national registration remains an attractive choice for UK businesses, where such registration is appropriate.
"The consultation looks at measures which will help businesses to continue to register intellectual property rights in a downturn and continue to meet the needs of all customers."
Proposals, available on the IPO website (http://www.ipo.gov.uk), include an overall reduction in the fee burden for trademark registration and more flexibility over when businesses have to pay for that service. The initiatives under discussion include:
* Introduction of a new 'early assistance' service for
new trade mark applicants
* Provision of an e-filing discount for trade mark and patent applicants when filed electronically
* Reduction of the fee that businesses pay to oppose the registration of a new mark by another firm
The measures have been formulated taking into account a recent market research exercise conducted by the IPO. Further research on the specific proposals will be conducted during the consultation period.
For more information please contact Lucy Barrow in the IPO press office on: 0207 596 6563 or James Thomson on: 0207 596 6547.
Notes to editors
1.) The Intellectual Property Office is introducing these proposals to help businesses to continue to register rights in the recession to maintain trade mark registration in the UK as an attractive choice.
2.) 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
3.) The list of organisations and individuals to whom a copy of this consultation document has been sent is available on the website and can be viewed and commented upon by anyone accessing it.
4.) The Intellectual Property Office is within the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge based economy.
It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to IP to which the United Kingdom is a party.