August 30, 2016

Mexico: Trademark Opposition System Effective as of August 30, 2016

The implementation of the opposition system in Mexico entered into force on August 30, 2016.  It is expected that this new system will create a more interactive environment between trademark owners and lead to more accurate decisions by the trademark examiners. The new opposition system is a great opportunity for filing information, evidence, and documentation that will allow the MTO to better assess the registrability of a distinctive element in a new application, and lessen the possibility of the MTO granting a new registration that could infringe or jeopardize previously granted right Some highlights of the new system include:   Following receipt of the trademark application, the Mexican Trademark Office’s (MTO) shall proceed, within 10 business days, with its publication in the IP Gazette. Anyone who considers that a trademark application violates the Industrial Property Law provisions will have the opportunity to file an opposition within one month of the date of its publication in the Gazette. No extension of the one month opposition period is allowed. After the one month opposition period expires, a list of those applications that were opposed will be published in the Gazette within the following 10 business days.  
July 26, 2016

Thailand: New Amendment to the Trademark Law Published on April 29, 2016

A new amendment of Thailand’s Trademark Laws was published in the Royal Gazette on April 29, 2016. The new Trademark Act will enter into force on July 28, 2016.  Thailand has adopted the multi-class system and also introduced a new fee schedule. The protection period of the mark remains unchanged (10 years from the registration date and renewable every 10 years).  
July 26, 2016

Germany: Amendments to Trademark Regulation in Force

The German PTO announced amendments to the trademark regulation that became effective June 24, 2016.  The changes include:   Colored trademarks and black & white trademarks need to be submitted in the way they were intended to be registered.  It is no longer possible to request a black & white trademark registration when a colored version has been submitted.   Colored trademarks are now recognized as its own trademark type and covered by its own paragraph.   For trademarks including non-Latin characters, a translation, transliteration and transcription needs to be submitted with the trademark representation.   Source:
July 26, 2016

European Union: EU Trademark Applications Continue to Increase Annually

  In 2015, 70% of the 130,385 trademark applications received by the EU’s statistical office came from EU member states.   The highest number of applications originated from Germany at 20,447, followed by the United States at 16,881 and the UK in third place at 12,527.  Other countries with a high ranking number of applications were Italy, Spain and France.   The greatest number of non-EU countries (apart from the US) came from China, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea, which all numbered in the thousands.   The 89,240 applications made by EU member states represents a four-fold increase since 1996.
July 25, 2016

India: New Numbering System in Effect as of 1/1/2016

Effective January 1, 2016 the Indian Patent Office introduced a new numbering format when issuing application numbers for patents. The numbers now contain 12 digits; the first 4 numbers stand for the year the application was filed.  The 5th digit stands for the Jurisdiction of the Patent Office (1 for Delhi, 2 for Mumbai, 3 for Kolkata, 4 for Chennai).  
June 15, 2016

Albania and Georgia: Joined TMclass Effective May 30, 2016

As of May 30, 2016, the Albanian General Directorate of Patents and Trademarks (GDPT) and the Georgian National Intellectual Property Center (SAKPATENTI) joined TMclass. Source:
June 15, 2016

France: Submissions of Trademark Oppositions Only Allowed via E-Service Effective May 1, 2016

In an effort to urge the public to use e-services, the French National Trademark Office requires that all submissions of trademark oppositions be made exclusively via the online service of the Office.  This rule became effective on May  1, 2016. Additionally, effective June 1, 2016, all subsequent exchanges (observations in reply to the opposition) and also submission of observations, must be submitted exclusively via the online service.
June 15, 2016

United Kingdom: Changes to Annual Fee Payment in Cayman Islands Effective August 1, 2016

The payment of advance annual fee payments will now be prohibited in the Cayman Islands effective August 1, 2016.  The announcement made by the General Registry of the Cayman Islands requires that all trademark and patent annual fee payments are to be made on or after January 1st of the year in which they are due.  A penalty will continue to apply for fees paid after March 31st. Prior to this decree it was commonplace to pay annuities ahead of time, sometimes years in advance or up to the next renewal date.  This option will no longer be allowed after August 1, 2016. Prepayment of annuities will be accepted up until the end of July 2016.
June 13, 2016

Venezuela: Industrial Designs Granted for the First Time in 10 Years

For the first time since 2006, the Venezuelan Trademark and Patent Office (SAPI) has granted Industrial Designs. The Industrial Property Bulletin No. 563 dated May 2, 2016 included Resolution No. 087 granting the registration of 32 Industrial Designs filed between 1999 and 2003. This resolution does not mention the legal basis of the granting or the time limits or the mechanisms for payment of the annuities. When additional information becomes available from the Venezuelan PTO we will post it here. Source:  Clarke & Modet
May 31, 2016

Estonia: Databases of Trademarks and Designs Updated

On May 27, 2016, the Estonian Patent Office provided an updated platform on the databases of trademarks and industrial designs.  The Office informs that these databases will be regularly  updated going forward. Source: