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Annual Technical Report 2009 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by OHIM (CWS/ATR/TM/2009/EM)

Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

I. Evolution of registration activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and registrations with respect to the previous year

Community trade mark applications in 2009 got off to a slow start as a result of the global economic recession. In the first quarter applications were down by 12% compared with the previous year.
The 40% fee reduction for Community trade marks in May provided a temporary boost in demand in the second quarter. Then economic recovery in most markets helped the second half.
And by the year end, the total number of applications, at 88,200, had overtaken the previous year.

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

OHIM continued to work with users to create better e-business tools and more efficient ways of working, and also increase the transparency of decision-making.
Mid-way through the year, a single trade mark department dealing with all the procedures from receiving a Community trade mark application to its registration was created.
A new trade mark workflow tool was introduced, causing some early teething problems and affecting timescales, but opening the way to future efficiencies.
In spite of these early problems, the average time from application to registration for straightforward Community trade marks fell to around 7 months.
A new section within the Trade Marks Department has been working to further improve the quality of decisionmaking in particular.
The Service Charter objective is to take opposition decisions within 17 weeks, but in 2009 this was being achieved for just one-fifth of cases.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to trademarks

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/OHIM/statistics.en.do

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of secondary sources of trademark information, i.e., trademark gazettes

Publishing, printing, copying techniques

The Community Trade Marks (CTM) Bulletin contains CTM applications, registrations and entries made in the CTM Register

The following items can be found in the CTM Bulletin:

- Community Trade Mark applications
- Community Trade Mark registrations
- Later entries made in the Community Trade Marks Register (includes later entries made in the original Register concerning amendments, transfers, licences, surrenders, etc.)
- CTM renewals
- Requests for conversion
- Restitutio in integrum
- International registrations designating the European Community.

The CTM Bulletin is published daily.

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/CTM/CTMBulletin.en.do

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of trademark information

VADEMECUM

http://oami.europa.eu/bulletin/ctm/ctm_bulletin_en.htm

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online trademark gazettes and to other sources of trademark information, including download of bulk trademark data

CTM Bulletin:
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/CTM/CTMBulletin.en.do

CTM-ONLINE:

http://oami.europa.eu/CTMOnline/RequestManager/en_SearchBasic?

TMview:

TMview is an online consultation tool allowing any Internet user to search, free of charge, the trademarks of all participating official trademark Offices. It is multilingual and easy-to-use, and gives access to trademark applications and registrations of the participating official trademark offices in a single place.
The information is provided by the trademark offices that own the content and are responsible for its daily update.

You can use TMview to:
• Carry out a trademark search
• Check for the availability of your trademark name
• Discover what your competitors are protecting
• Provide information to trademark examiners:

http://www.tmview.europa.eu/tmview/welcome.html

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of trademark information

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification systems used, e.g., International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks (Vienna Classification), other classification (please indicate whether goods and services for the registration of marks and whether the figurative elements of marks are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification(s) is (are) used)

Classification systems: Nice Classification and Vienna Classification

Use of electronic classification systems to check the classification symbols furnished by an applicant and which are contained in the lists of goods and/or services

EUROACE is a database with descriptions of goods and services that are immediately accepted by the office. By using these expressions the applicant can be assured that the office will raise no objections, therefore greatly reducing the application processing time as there would be no need for the applicant to respond to official correspondence. All expressions are in accordance with the 9th edition of the International classification of goods and services established by the Nice Agreement.

http://oami.europa.eu/euroace/euroaceservlet?action=search&langid=en

EURONICE is a translation database for the description of goods and services. The EURONICE online search tool contains translations of the most frequently used expressions by Community trade mark applicants to describe the goods and services covered by their marks. This database currently contains about 17,000 expressions represented in the 22 official languages of the EU.

http://oami.europa.eu/search/euronice/la/en_en_expressionscreen.cfm

EuroClass is a classification tool that will help you in the classification of Goods and Services, and allow you to compare the classification databases of each participating office.
It will provide a list of descriptions of Goods and Services that have been accepted by each office, and where no entry is found, will provide a list of similar terms in the classes searched.

http://oami.europa.eu/euroclass/actions/main.do

Obligation for applicants to use pre-defined terms of the classification applied

Goods & Services
It is mandatory to indicate for which goods and/or services the applicant wishes to register the trade mark. Goods and services are divided into different classes according to the International Classification of Goods and Services under the Nice Agreement (the "Nice Classification"). There are presently 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services, at least one of which must be selected.

The applicant can select Goods & Services by the following means:

Import the Goods & Services of an existing CTM application
Import the Goods & Services from our databases (EuroAce or EuroClass)
Insert the Goods & Services manually

The applicant can insert the classes manually in the Goods & Services list of his new CTM. The applicant selects the number of the class he wants to add and fill manually the terms in the class. Please note that when the applicant selects a class to add in the list of Goods & Services, the standard Nice Classification header is displayed by default.

Import the Goods & Services of an existing CTM application

The applicant may use the Goods & Services of a previous CTM application as a template to indicate the Goods & Services claimed by his new CTM application. The applicant can adapt the previous classes, modifying only the necessary terms, without having to fill in the entire class wordings.

Import Application

The applicant can obtain the Goods & Services from a previous CTM application if he already know the CTM ID of the application. The applicant enters the CTM ID in the text box and select "Import".

Search CTM

The applicant may obtain a previous CTM application by searching in our database.

Import the Goods & Services from our databases (Euroace or Euroclass)

The applicant may import terms that are already approved by the OHIM into the Goods & Services list of his CTM Application. Click on the respective "EuroClass" or "EuroAce" buttons in order to search and import existing class terms.

The applicant must complete the list of goods and services in the first application language, as selected in the Languages section. If he has selected the option "I will provide translation of Disclaimer, Description and List of Goods & Services in the 2nd language", the applicant must also complete the list of goods and services in the second application language, providing his own translation.

IV. Trademark manual search file establishment and upkeep

The Ohim does not maintain a manual search file.

V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

The OHIM uses for internal searches two systems not available to the public: EUROMARC++ and QFMAN.

External databases

Searching the Community trade mark database: CTM-ONLINE
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/databases/searchCTM.en.do
Goods and Services: Nice Classification - EUROACE - EURONICE
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/databases/euroace.en.do
Representative consultation service
http://oami.europa.eu/FRP/RequestManager?transition=start&source=Log-in.html&language=en&application=FRP
TMview
http://www.tmview.europa.eu/tmview/welcome.html

VI. Administration of trademark information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering trademarks, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and trademark information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)

E-filing is a service provided by OHIM, which enables users to apply for a Community trade mark online.
OHIM provides a business-to-business solution for its larger clients where, based on an agreed transfer mechanism across the Internet, our clients can send their CTM applications directly from their own back-office systems directly to OHIM.

E-mails may only be used for informal communication with the Office. Correspondence regarding a specific file must always be filed by fax, by post or via e-communication (only MYPAGE users).
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/forms/electronic/fileApplicationCTM.en.do

E-renewal is a service provided by OHIM in order to enable users to renew a CTM online.
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/forms/electronic/fileRenewalCTM.en.do

E-opposition is a service provided by OHIM in order to allow users to file an opposition online.
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/forms/electronic/fileOpposition.en.do

URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of trademark applications

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/forms/electronic/fileApplicationCTM.en.do

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and registration procedures related to trademarks; opposition and appeal procedures related to trademarks; etc.

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/CTM/regProcess/regProcess.en.do

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., trademark search service(s) and trademark databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

OHIM took some important steps towards the ultimate goal of doing all business online during 2009.
New versions of the key Community trade mark and design E-Filing tools were well received by users.
Online filing now accounts for over 90% of trade mark applications.
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/index.en.do

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of trademark documentation and information

During 2009, OHIM's cooperation programme with national IP offices charted new territory with the setting up of the OHIM Cooperation Fund.
With a budget of €50m, the fund was created as part of the negotiations for the Community trade mark fee cut, and to help balance OHIM's budget.
The Fund's management board, set up to advise the President, has consulted widely, and 2010 will see the first projects selected.

Activities under the existing cooperation framework included:
- Around three and a half million euros spent on jointly promoting Community trade marks and designs;
- Organising top-level legal seminars;
- And working on common databases for trade marks and classifications.

OHIM signed an important cooperation agreement with the World Intellectual Property Organization, which has the potential to lead to a huge expansion of the number of commonly accepted terms for goods and services in IP offices worldwide.

Another key database project, TMview, allows users to search trade mark data held by OHIM andseven other IP offices.
Thousands participated in the test phase, and more offices are expected to join the project in 2010.

OHIM also provided the UK IP office with a royalty free copy of its new trade mark casehandling software.

Cooperation on legal issues included a seminar series and the top level OHIM Judges' Symposium, which attracted over 100 participants.

The common theme of cooperation is to try and remove unnecessary differences in practice and help modernise Europe's IP infrastructure.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Relations with users,
All successful organisations need to understand their customers and respond to their needs. At OHIM contact happens at various levels.
We also get regular feedback from user groups, hold e-business workshops in European cities and visit customers on their own premises.
The OHIM website is OHIM's window on the world. The content, in five languages, is updated daily, and it's the home for the office's popular monthly electronic magazine, Alicante News, which now has over 7,000 e-mail subscribers.
OHIM has been using informal surveys to get customer feedback, and offers e-mail alerts on news and important legal issues.
We have also introduced online workshops to provide short, focused training, and are exploring modern means of networking with customers.
OHIM staff participated in a variety of conferences, seminars and exhibitions which allowed informal exchanges with users and colleagues from other IP offices in an effort to improve standards. We also welcomed a wide range of visitors during 2009 including groups of users from different countries.

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

OHIM was present at the following events 2009:
http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/OHIM/news/eventsArchive2009.en.do

Training courses for national and foreign participants

The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) maintains close links with all interested parties in order to ensure cooperation and harmonization across Europe as well as to ensure the best possible delivery of its services.

This requires complete transparency with regard to standards and the results of examinations and other procedures performed by OHIM, and consultation with users in order to improve practice and procedures.

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/networks/networks.en.do

Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)

The annual Trade Mark Trilateral between OHIM and the US and Japanese, held in Alicante in December, was one of the international cooperation highlights of the year.

OHIM has also been very active in China with cooperation activities dating back to 1997.
- The office is taking part in the EU-China IPR2 cooperation project;
- A permanent OHIM official is now based in Beijing;
- And in April a formal agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding, was reached on future cooperation.

In 2009 other international activities included OHIM participation in an EU programme to improve intellectual property rights in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

provide information on legislation related to trademarks

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/CTM/legalReferences/legalReferences.en.do

contain the Annual Report of the Office

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/OHIM/OHIMPublications/annualReport.en.do

if necessary, provide further information related to the topics referred to in the current ATR

OHIM Service Charter

The OHIM Service Charter defines these objectives in terms of what users can expect, by setting out concrete and measurable standards in three key areas – accessibility, timeliness and quality of decisions - which guide the service policy of the Office:

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/QPLUS/serviceCharter/serviceCharter.en.do

provide open source codes related to trademark information systems

A Trade Mark XML Open Standard Initiative

The TM-XML Working Group was created by the OHIM Liaison Meeting in June 2003 with the mandate to define a XML standard for trade mark information exchange.

http://www.tm-xml.org/

contain trademark-related news regarding the Office

ALICANTE NEWS is a newsletter, edited by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market and published on the second last Wednesday of every month.

The aim of ALICANTE NEWS is to provide up-to-date information on OHIM-related matters, as well as on other general IP issues, to the users of the Community trade mark and design registration systems.

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/OHIM/OHIMPublications/newsletter.en.do

X. Other relevant matters