May 18, 2017

Indonesia: Power of Attorney Requirement for Patent Annuity Payments

The Indonesian Patent Office announced that each patent annuity payment must be accompanied with an original Power of Attorney at the time of payment.  A separate Power of Attorney is needed for each case. A general Power of Attorney is not sufficient.      
May 4, 2017

Japan: Accepts Trademarks Consisting Only of Colors

In February of 2017 the JPO decided to accept the registration of two trademarks consisting only of colors.  Since April 2015 Japan has accepted certain types of new trademarks consisting of sounds and colors.  The most recent trademarks accepted were those for the storefront sign of a convenience store chain and the logo colors of certain eraser products, both of which are well-known logos among Japanese consumers. Using marks with distinctive colors as a way of enhancing the strength of a brand could be very beneficial to companies.
May 2, 2017

Finland: Changes to Patent Fees Effective May 1, 2017

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment approved the Patent and Registration Office’s (PRH) proposal for changes to some of its fees effective May 1, 2017.  Changes include: Annual Fees:  For years 1 to 3 no change.   Decrease in years 4 and 5.  Increase in fees from years 6 to 13 and no  change for years 14 to 20. Additionally, 15 patent claims can be included in the applications without any additional fee.  The current number of claims is ten.
April 13, 2017

Andorra: The PTO Announced a 7% Increase in Official Fees for all IP Matters

  Effective March 2017 official fees for all IP matters increased 7 percent.  This affects new applications only.  Pending matters remain under the old prices before the increase. The new official fees for filing a trademark application are now EUR 164,81 for up to three classes and EUR 25.58 for each additional class. Source:  NJQ & Associates, Jordan  
April 13, 2017

China: Official Fees for Trademarks reduced by 50% Effective April 1, 2017

The official fees for trademarks have been reduced by 50% in the Chinese mainland effective April 1, 2017.  For filing a renewal the official fee is now CY 1,000.  For late filing of a renewal application the fee is CY 250.
March 23, 2017

Germany: German Parliament Approves Ratification of the UPC Agreement

On March 10, 2017 the German Parliament, Bundestag, approved ratification of the UPC Agreement and related amendments to the German Patent Act.  As a next step in the legislative process, the German Federal Council, Bundesrat, will need to approve the draft legislation.  After approval by the Bundesrat, the resulting laws would then need to be signed by the newly elected Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The laws would take effect on the day following promulgation in the German Federal Law Gazette.   To date, twelve EU Member States have ratified the UPC Agreement, including France (14 March 2014) and Italy (10 February 2017).  The three countries with the highest number of patent application in Europe (France, Germany and the UK) are mandatory ratifying countries of the UPC Agreement.   In November of 2016 the UK government issued a press release stating that despite the UK’s planned leave from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”), it still plans to ratify the UPC Agreement over the coming months.  However, it is not clear how the ratification of the UPC agreement will play out with the UK’s heralded rejection of the supremacy of EU law and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).   Source:  
March 23, 2017

Jordan: Becomes Bound by the Patent Cooperation Treaty on June 9, 2017

  On June 9, 2017 Jordan becomes bound by the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and its residents and nationals will be entitled to file international applications under the PCT.  All international applications filed on or after June 9, 2017 will automatically designate/elect Jordan. Jordan is the 152nd party to the Treaty, thus, contributing to the expansion of the international patent system. Source:
March 17, 2017

Spain: Official Fee Changes Effective April 1, 2017

Effective April 1, 2017 the official fees for annuities and SPC maintenance fees will change under the recently approved new Patent Law in Spain. Please note that according to the new law, annuities cannot be paid in advance of the expiration date (which is still the last day of the application month). The new regulation stipulates a period of three months from the expiration date to pay annuities without surcharges, followed by three months with a 25% surcharge, and the final three months with a 50% surcharge. There is a total of nine months during which time the payment of annuity fees can be made.        
March 15, 2017

United States: Filed the Highest Number of International Patent and Trademark Applications in 2016

PATENT APPLICATIONS According to WIPO, 2016 was a record year with respect to the number of international patent applications. 1st– US-based applicants filed 56,595 Patent Cooperation Treaty applications in 2016 2nd– Japan placed second (45,239) 3rd– China placed third (43,168). China posted double-digit growth each year since 2002 ZTE Corporation (a technology company) filed the most with 4,123 patent applications TRADEMARK APPLICATIONS French cosmetics company L’Oreal placed first with 150 Madrid applications, Glaxo Group came in second with 141 and BMW had 117 applications. 1st – The United States placed 1st globally for international trademark applications: 7,741 2nd Germany placed 2nd with 7,551 applications 3rd France had 4,132 applications China had 3,200 applications and saw the fastest growth (68.6%) last year. Source:
March 14, 2017

Afghanistan: Accession to Paris Convention and the Singapore Treaty on May 14, 2017

  WIPO notifies the accession of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883, as revised at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, and as amended on September 28, 1979 (Paris Convention) and to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, adopted at Singapore on March 27, 2006. The accession of both, the Paris Convention and the Singapore Treaty, will enter into force on May 14, 2017. Source: