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Annual Technical Report 2003 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Sweden (SCIT/ATR/TM/2003/SE)

 

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

The Trademark department is responsible for national applications, international applications (Madrid), search report for OHIM, renewal and changes in applications.

There are 100 employees in the Trademark department. 59 employees are working as lawyers, examiners, assistance and administrative staff specific for trademark issues.

A decrease of national applications compared to previous years was observed. The decrease was 9 % compared with last year.
Furthermore the international applications were about the same as last year.

The international applications represent 46 % and the national applications 54 % of the total applications.

The level of interest in the EU trademark has been high.

In the early 1997 there was a political decision of moving the Trademark department from Stockholm to Söderhamn. This decision caused a rapid drainage of some of the most competent staff. The heads of office immediately started the recruitment and education of new staff for Söderhamn. However, it has not been possible to avoid longer handling of national applications. The large balance within the national trademark applications has, during the year 2001, been reduced by 32 % to 10,000. The production capacity that has been built up continues.

The production for applications has during 2003 increased with 19 % to 682 applications per personal year compared with last year.

By the end of year 2003, the average processing time was 5 months for national trademark applications. During the year the average processing time has been reduced by 2 months compared with 2002.



National trademark, received applications
1997 11,440
1998 9,600
1999 9,500
2000 9,600
2001 8,000
2002 8,500
2003 7,700
International trademark, registrations
1997 3,400
1998 5,750
1999 6,300
2000 7,400
2001 7,000
2002 5,800
2003 5,800
National trademark, renewal
1999 4,200
2000 5,200
2001 6,800
2002 9,900
2003 6,300
National trademark, changes in databases
1999 6,400
2000 8,100
2001 7,400
2002 7,000
2003 6,000
Search reports from OHIM
1999 40,000
2000 49,000
2001 54,000
2002 41,000
2003 42,000

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

The official gazette ”Trademark Gazette” is issued every week. This gazette contains the announcements of the official data concerning new registrations, modifications, renewals, cancellations and corrections. At the end of every year a complete, bounded, gazette is published containing every change during the year.

The gazette is produced in an automatic way and all information is coming from the new IT-system and the database.
An electronic newsletter, Trademark Newsletter, is published 6 times per year. The newsletter contains information about official reports, reporting and development in the office.

An annual report is published for the whole government.

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

Trademarks are classified according to the Nice Classification of Goods and Services, 8th edition.

Applicants have to state the classifications according to the Nice system. The specifications must be specified and not in terms of ”all available goods for the class”. The employees in the Trademark department then convert the information into actual class. By doing this they use the computer system.

The figurative elements of trademarks are classified according to the Vienna Classification 5th edition.

Bibliographic data used for search purpose are Nice class number, goods and services respectively, name of applicant/holder and name of counsel.

IV. Trademark manual search file establishment and upkeep

In 1998 the Trademark department started to scan all the national figurative marks. At the end of year 2000 the Trademark department continued the process by building up a new electronic database that consisted of all the figurative marks.

The figurative marks are now kept in a database and reachable by use of the new IT-system. All manual work for searching is closed.

All paper documents related to national and international applications are kept on a paper-built archive. The Trademark department is moving to an electronic way in the daily working but this process will take time.

During the year 2001 the process continued to change from manual to electronic search file. Since the beginning of 2002 an electronic search file system is up and running for the national figurative marks. In 2002 and 2003 the Trademark department has continued to store also international applications and EU-applications in the same database.

V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

The Trademark department is connected to the system Internet and to E-mail. All employees have their own e-mail address and there are also official e-mail addresses for the Trademark department.

External databases used are Wipo Roman, Article 6ter and CD-Com.

Every employee has his own p.c., which is connected in a local area network with two local NTservers. By an ATM communication-line the Trademark department in the city Söderhamn then is connected with the IBM mainframe in Stockholm.

In 1999 the Trademark department started a project to implement a new IT-system (Ptolemy) for national and international trademarks. The new IT-system consists of two parts and each part has four phases.

Part 1: automation of internal procedures for managing national and international trademarks including images

Part 2: evolved automation to handle in particular electronic filing, and Internet support more generally

The four phases are
• Design phase
• Development phase
• Installation and delivery testing phase
• Acceptance testing phase

In October 2002 the Trademark Department implemented the part 1.

That IT-system is named Ptolemy and developed together with the company Sword. The system has been very important for the Trademark department in the ambition to reduce the application time and to be a useful tool for the examiners. This system is tightly connected with the search system Acsepto.
In 2002 the Trademark department also started the requirement for part 2. That part consists of more information on the web and possibility to apply a national application in an electronic way and make payment at the same time.

VI. Administration of trademark 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)

Public can search for registered trademarks and applications when visiting the facilities in the patent office. Security is upheld via a guest password. Applications may be filed electronically (facsimile), but legal demands for a hand written signature make confirmation on paper compulsory.

Register excerpts may be ordered through our Sales department. The fee is low and should only cover the printing and paper costs.

Trademarks attorneys, law firms and other commercial entities any acquire access to a special On-line service, called patlink. The link offers a compilation of bibliographic data from the SPRO trademark, patents and industrial designer’s registers. The Sales department administers the service.

These services have been very popular and of valuable benefits for our customers. The intention is that all relevant data and images for national and international trademarks and EU-trademarks should be stored and accessible in SPRO`s database.

For some of the more complex search criteria the client has to pay a fee to the Sales department.

It is free of charge to use simple search criteria, e.g., registration number, applications number, owner and class when searching in the database.

The work with making the SPRO homepage (www.prv.se) has continued. The Trademark Gazette is available on Internet. But it is also possible to request issues of the newspaper in printed forms.

The administrative staff gives information from the databases by telephone, fax and e-mail. Since the information from the trademark database is available from the homepage the Trademark department can observe a movement against more qualified questions from our clients.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of trademark documentation and information

Requests for search reports from the OHIM are received in an electronic way.
After examination of the results, search reports are sent to the OHIM in an electronic way.

These improvements have been done during the year 2002. In 2003 the Trademark department could handle these issues and exchange of data in an electronic and efficient way.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries

The SPRO has a department for external training courses. The department represents the SPRO at exhibitions etc. For seminars and advanced courses, experts from other departments, e.g., the Trademark department is invited as lectures.

IX. Other relevant matters

In March 1998, the Trademark Department was relocated from Stockholm to Söderhamn. A completely new organisation was built up. The Trademark department now consists of the Trademark Division, the Industrial Design, Surname and Registry of Periodical Division and Administrative Division. Furthermore there are specials for questions concerning law, information, information technology and quality. Since the Government decision in the early 1997, intense measures have been taken for recruiting and training new staff.

Due to special efforts in this area, the Trademark Department has managed to handle the WIPO applications in both directions within the prescribed time limits.

By the end of year 2001, the average processing time was around 12 months for national trademark applications.

By the end of 2002 the average processing time was 7 months and in the end of 2003 the time was 5 months.

The average time has been reduced rapidly since the years 1999 and 2000.

A new vision and strategy plan for the information technology has been made for the Trademark department. In accordance with these intentions the Trademark department has worked very hard to convert and implement new systems within modern technology.

The Trademark department has already started with a system for image processing and figure examination. During the year 2002 a new system for examination of national and international trademark applications has been implemented.

At SPRO level, a project is running with the objective of improving the Internet homepage. This implies that the Trademark department will take an active part in the Internet activities.

Publications such as the Trademark Gazette are accessible via the homepage

Furthermore trademark information is reachable through internet. The client may use simple search criteria which are free of charge.

For more sophisticated and complex search criteria the client has to pay a fee for these facilities.

Finally a project has been started to make it possible for an electronic filing of national trademark applications. The quality of data in these applications is very high because there are a lot of checking points before handling the application to the Trademark department. The client also has to pay the pre calculated fee before the application is considered to be an incoming application. This concept will go into production in the middle of 2004.