May 4, 2018

United Kingdom: Increase in Official Fees for Patent Renewals Years 12-20

Effective April 6, 2018, renewal fees in the UK for maintaining a granted patent in force will see an increase of £10 from current fees for each year beginning with the 12th year to the 20th year.  These increases are relatively modest and should only have a small impact on proprietors. Source:  BeckGreener
May 4, 2018

ARIPO: New Trademarks Act by Malawi Adopted

The new Malawi Act (Trademarks Act, 2018) repeals the existing Trademarks Act of 1957.  It was published on February 2, 2018.  The new act covers a number of fields which were not, or poorly covered. previously.  Those fields include the protection of service marks, registration of collective marks, certification marks and Geographical Indications. Source:
May 1, 2018

Bhutan: National Intellectual Property Policy 2018 Launched

The Ministry of Economic Affairs officially launched the National Intellectual Property Policy (NIPP) 2018 to provide intellectual property (IP) rights to promote creativity and innovation for social, cultural and economic development.  The policy was approved during the 151st session of the Cabinet held on February 13, 2018. Source:    
May 1, 2018

Benelux: Trademark Regime to Change in June 2018

The Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property (BCIP) will be amended by two protocols which will enter into force on June 1, 2018. Effective June 1, 2018, all appeals from decisions of the BOIP (refusals, oppositions, etc.) have to be brought before the Benelux Court of Justice (BCJ).  This Court established a new chamber consisting of judges from national courts of the Member States of the Benelux.  It is expected that this change will result in a more consistent and harmonious case law. With regard to opposition proceedings, the BCIP will also allow holders of well-known trademarks to oppose to the registration of younger marks. Currently, opposition can only be based on an identical trademark, a confusingly similar trademark or a well-known mark. Invalidation or cancellation actions before the BOIP:  Effective June 1, 2018, it will be possible to seek invalidation or cancellation of registered marks with the BOIP in administrative procedures.  It will no longer be required to initiate judicial proceedings. Source:  DeClercq & Partners, Belgium and Arnold & Siedsma, Netherlands
May 1, 2018

Afghanistan: Accession to Madrid Protocol on June 26, 2018

On March 26, 2018, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol, making Afghanistan the 101st member of the Madrid System.  The Protocol will enter into force for Afghanistan on June 26, 2018. Beginning on June 26th, local brand owners in Afghanistan can begin using the Madrid System to protect their marks in the 116 territories of the System’s other 100 members by filing a single international application and paying a single set of fees.   Source:
April 27, 2018

United Kingdom: Ratified the Unified Patent Court (UPC) on April 26, 2018

The minister of IP, Sam Gyimah, confirmed the ratification of the UPC Agreement on 4/26/2018.  The UPC will have jurisdiction over patent disputes across its contracting states, delivering a single judgment in cross-border disputes. However, Germany, which has to ratify the UPC for it to come into effect, may still prove a stumbling block to its implementation. The UK and France are the other two states that must ratify the UPC.  Both have now ratified. Source:  WIPR
April 20, 2018

United Kingdom: Patent Fees Increase on April 6, 2018

Effective April 6, 2018 the UK has made small increases to most of its fees.  In addition, excess claims and page fees are being introduced.  It will however still be possible to file a UK patent application without any fees.  Thus a priority date can be established without incurring patent office fees. Search and Examination of UK Applications:  It is necessary to pay an application and search fee.  Both of these fees will increase slightly after April 6, 2018, and the application fee will incur a small surcharge if you choose to pay this after filing the application.  A more significant change is the introduction of excess claims fees of £20 for each claim over 25. The examination fee will also increase slightly.  In addition, excess page fees of £ 10 for each page over 35 will apply. The increased application, search, and examination fees, and the new excess claims and page fees will apply to International applications entering the UK national phase. Source:  Dehns
April 20, 2018

EPO: Fee Reductions Effective April 1, 2018

The European Patent Office announced that effective April 1, 2018 fee reductions for patent applications entered into force.   A summary of these fee reductions includes the following: The EPO will not apply the biennial fee adjustment for 2018-2020. PCT search and Examination fees are reduced by EUR 100 each Increased discount on EPO examination fees for files already examined by the EPO in PCT proceedings from the current 50% to 75%.  Applicants will now only pay EUR 456.24 instead of EUR 912.50 Source:  EPO
March 26, 2018

European Union: UK Ratifies Hague Agreement for Industrial Designs

  On March 13, 2018, the UK deposited the instrument of ratification of the Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement with WIPO, in Geneva, completing its final step toward joining the Hague Agreement for industrial designs.  The Act will come into effect on June 13, 2018. The Decision to join the Hague system will allow applicants to register designs in the UK through an application filed with the International Bureau at WIPO.   Source:  Clare A. Cornell, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
March 26, 2018

European Union: EPO to Allow Earlier Payment of Third Year Renewal Fee

Effective April 1, 2018, the payment window for the third year renewal fee is being extended. It will now be possible for Applicants to pay the third year renewal fee up to six months before it falls due. This change means that, in most cases, applicants will now have the opportunity to pay the third year renewal fee at the same time they bring a PCT application into the regional phase in the EPO. This change applies to any application for which the third year renewal fee is paid on or after 1 April 2018.  This change only applies to the third year renewal fee, subsequent renewal fees may still only be validly paid within a three month window before they fall due. Source: Sanam Habib, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. LLP