The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) has now 151 contracting states after the recent accessions of Kuwait (KW) since September 9, 2016, Djibouti (DJ) since September 23, 2016, and Cambodia (KH) which will become effective on December 8, 2016. The accession of Kuwait means that all GCC member states are now bound by the PCT.
Kuwait became the 149th member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on June 9, 2016, and the sixth and final Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member state to accede to the PCT. Accordingly, Kuwait became bound by the PCT applications as of that date. Source: Sabaip.com
Effective October 1, 2016 renewal fees for designs will be reduced. While renewal fees will increase every five years during the term of protection, the biggest savings will be seen in the third and final renewal periods. For example, the renewal fee payable at the end of year 15 will be £110 compared with the current £310 (representing a 64% reduction). At year 20, the fee will be £140 instead of the current £450 (a 69% saving).
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