We recently reported on the proposed reduction in European Community Trademark ("CTM") fees in response to the economic crisis (see Client Alert of January 13, 2009). We can now report that the EU Member States have accepted the proposal.
Curiously, the specific plan that the Member States have approved could result in substantial savings if trademark owners file NOW, rather than waiting until the new fee structure actually goes into effect.
Currently, applicants who file online pay an application fee of 750 Euros plus an additional 1000 Euros upon registration (1750 Euros total). The proposed new system (which is still awaiting final approval from the College of Commissioners) will require online applicants to make a single, upfront payment of 900 Euros to cover both the application fee and the registration fee.
However, for those applications filed before the introduction of the new regime that have not registered yet, the registration fee of 1000 Euros will be waived entirely. Consequently, if you apply for a CTM now, you will pay only 750 Euros in filing fees, rather than the old total filing fee of 1750 Euros and rather than the new total filing fee of 900 Euros.
The new fee structure may go into effect as early as May 1, 2009, so it would be wise to act quickly.
In addition, Madrid Protocol filings in the EU will be reduced from 1450 Euros to 870. The Madrid Protocol is the international trademark registration system which allows trademark owners to claim rights in multiple countries - from Albania to Zambia - under one registration.