Effective September 8, 2016, the long-delayed valued added tax (VAT) was approved, which replaced the former General Sales Tax (GST) system. The VAT tax rates are as follows: A 13% standard rate applies to most supplies of goods or services. The rate will increase to 14% on July 1, 2017 Source: BDO Egypt and PricewaterhouseCoopers
The Irish Patent Office recently expanded their online payments facility. In addition to payment of renewal, grant and registration fees, the new facility will now accept payment for all National Trademark and Design Fee types. Documentation associated with a particular fee type can also be submitted online.
Effective August 21, 2016, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic No. 133 “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Kyrgyz Republic” entered into force and invalidated the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Trade Names.” Accordingly, the Kyrgyz patent office has stopped accepting applications for the registration of trade names.
Effective September 29, 2016 new official fees for trademark related matters will be applied on all new as well pending applications that are still awaiting examination. In addition to the increase in fees, there will also be a substantial number of procedural changes implemented that are related to opposition.
The first sound trademark was registered in China on May 14, 2016, in class 35, 38, 41 and 42 under No. 14503615, by China Radio International. A sound mark can only acquire distinctiveness through long-term use. The applicant may be asked to submit evidence of use and explain during the examination process how the trademark acquired distinction. Furthermore, the trademark applicant should pay attention to keeping evidence of use during daily operation. For example, if the trademark is used in a television advertisement, the contract and invoice for producing and publishing it should be kept as evidence of broadcasting. Source: DEQI Intellectual Property Law Corp., China.
A new automated process for issuing trademark registration certificates came into effect in India on August 1, 2016. Most certificates will now be generated through an automatic system and sent to the applicant, or their authorized agent via email. Applicants and agents are asked to ensure that email addresses are provided at the time of application. Certificates will also be available on the trademark office’s website for download and printing. Source: ITMA
An increase in official fees in Argentina became effective on August 18, 2016, with a second increase to become effective on October 1, 2016. The new official trademark filing fee is ARS 1,000 per class; no special fees for additional classes. Effective October 1, 2016, the official trademark filing fee will be ARS 1,200 per class.
The National Assembly has approved a major amendment to the Korean Trademark Act which will go into effect on September 1, 2016. This is the first comprehensive amendment to the Act in 26 years. Some highlights follow: Delayed evaluation of similarity to senior marks Elimination of one year ban against registering marks similar to expunged marks Expanded restrictions against applications filed by agents Limitations on trademark rights clarified “Electronic use” of trademarks acknowledged as one of the recognized types of use Broader ground for rejection of cancellation marks Source: Kim & Chang, South Korea
Amendments to Thailand’s Trademark Act became effective on July 28, 2016. They introduce a number of changes that will set the stage for Thailand to accede to the Madrid Protocol in 2016. The changes also reduce the opposition period from 90 days to 60 days from the publication date of the application. The new official fee for filing a trademark application is now THB 1,000 per one item up to five items, and from the 6th item THB 9,000 per class. The official registration fee is now THB 600 per item of up to five items, and from the 6th item THB 5,400 per class. There is no publication fee. Source: www.kass.com.my
For patent renewal fees paid by approved means, there will be no increase until the 10th year anniversary. From the 10th to 14th anniversaries there will be a $50 increase in fees paid by approved means (from $500 to $550), from the 15th to 19th anniversaries, a $130 increase (from $1,120 to $1,250), and from the 20th to 24th anniversaries, a $250 increase (from $2,300 to $2,500. These increases reflect the balance between both innovation and cost recovery policy objectives. Effective October 10, 2016 the official trademark application fee for filing online will be AUD 250 per class with pick list and AUD 330 per class without pick list. There will no longer be any registration fees charged. The Trade Mark renewal fee (online services) per class will increase from $300 to $400; the Trade Mark renewal fee (paid by other means) per class will increase from $350 to $450. The Madrid import renewal fee per class will increase from $300 to $400. The TM renewal fee will increase by $100 to partially offset the removal of the $300 registration fee. Source: www.ipaustralia.gov.au