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.
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.
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
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: www.epa.ee
The Westbank Trademark Office has issued directives stating that it is no longer permitted to file trademark applications in this jurisdiction without the original legalized power of attorney which has to accompany the application at the time of filing.
Pursuant to Ministerial Decree no. 65 of 2016 approving the Implementing Regulations of the GCC Trademark Law, the official fees for trademark related matters have increased significantly across the board in comparison to their current level. The new official fees for filing through registration of a trademark have increased to BHD 650 (approximately $1,722 USD). The new rates for Official Fees became effective as of May 29, 2016, and will be applied on all new as well as retroactively for pending trademark applications. Additionally, an electronic Official Gazette (eOG) has been introduced which will be published every Thursday of each month. The eOG will be available in English and Arabic. This electronic version will contain the particulars of each accepted trademark application and a representative drawing, along with a list of cancelled registrations.
The Syrian Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection recently issued the Ministerial Decision No. 1171 of 2016 regarding the increase in official fees of trademarks and designs. The decision was published in the Official Gazette, and entered into force on May 22, 2016. Pursuant to this decision, the fee increase will be applied to the following: search, publication and administrative fees for application forms related to new applications for designs and trademarks, and include all the recordals (e.g., assignment, changes, etc.), as well as those retroactively to those applications, for which relevant first or second publication fees have not yet been paid.
The Ethiopian Trademark Office has issued new stipulations to enforce the Regulation of Renewal of 2006 Act No. 25, clause 4, which requires all renewals to be published in the Official Gazette and a local newspapers. Effectively immediately the Ethiopian Trademark Office shall now record the effecting of a renewal registration and subsequently publish this information in the IP Gazette and a newspaper having nationwide circulation in Amharic. The trademark owner also has the option of publishing this notification in an English language newspaper as well Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar
Amendments to existing patent rules entered into force on May 16th which include a reduction in the time taken for responding to an examination report/office action from 12 months to six months. An extension of up to three months is permitted for requests made before expiry of the six month period. The rules will also now allow applicants to delete claims at the time of filing an application. Source: WIPR