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
Powers of Attorney will no longer be required for trademark applications which are filed and renewed electronically according to the Department Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver in Cyprus. The registrar also stated that electronic submissions for applications and renewals will receive a higher priority.
The trademark authorities of Kuwait have issued an official notification stipulating that all new renewal applications filed in this jurisdiction must be accompanied by the original registration certificate at the time of renewal. A certified copy of the registration certificate can be used for the renewal purpose if the original registration certificate is not available. The prior practice allowed the renewal application to be filed separately with the original documents submitted at a later date.
The National Legislative Assembly approved a bill amending the trademark act which will enter into force 90 days after the publication in the Royal Gazette. Some important changes to be noted are: The definition of a trademark will be extended to include “sound marks.” It will now be possible to file multi-class applications. This is necessary to bring Thailand into conformity with the International Registration system under the Madrid Protocol. Period of time allowed to respond to an office action is reduced from 90 days to 60 days. Credit: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/finance/896644/amendment-to-the-trademark-act
In May 2016 it is expected that new regulations will enter into force which are designed to increase user services for trademark applicants. Highlights among the new provisions for trademarks applicants includes the possibility to add more goods/services to an application, restoration of a lapsed right will be permitted for all design rights regardless of the use requirements, and the deadline for responding to an office action can be extended up to four months from the present two months.