Annual Technical Report 2004 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Sweden (SCIT/ATR/TM/2004/SE)
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I. Evolution of registration activities
The Design- and Trademark Department (Department) consists of the Trademark Division, the Industrial Design, Surname and Registry of Periodical Division and Administrative Division.
The Department within the SPRO is responsible for national applications, international applications (Madrid), search report for OHIM, renewal and changes in applications.
The Department has total 116 employees. 92 of these are in active service.
56 employees are working as lawyers, examiners, assistance, production of gazette and administrative staff specific for trademark issues.
An increase of national applications compared to previous years was observed. The increase was 13 % compared with last year. This is associated with the growth of economy. This tendency is most obvious for small and middle size companies.
Furthermore the international applications decreased with 9 % compared with last year.
The international applications represent 38 % and the national applications 62 % of the total applications.
The level of interest in the EU trademark has been very high.
In the year 1997 there was a political decision of moving the 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 had not been possible to avoid longer handling of national applications. The large balance within the national trademark applications has been reduced continues to 6,000.
The production capacity has also been built up continues.
The production for applications has increased with 18 % to 676 applications per personal year compared with last year.
By the end of year 2004, the average processing time was 5 months for national trademark applications.
Nevertheless, the Department must concentrate the resources furthermore to make it is easier and rapidly for the companies to get answers and responds from the department. Therefore we are working in a processing way with help of modern technique. SPRO stimulate the applicant to make electronic filing.
National trademark, received applications
International trademark, registrations
National trademark, renewal
National trademark, changes in databases
Search reports from OHIM
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 is published. 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 Department then convert the information into actual class. By doing this they use the computer system.
When customer makes electronic filing, they have to use the official Classification of Good and Services before sending the application to the SPRO.
That information is correct when receiving into the office. The result will be easier and more rapidly examination in the office. This is one way to stimulate the business companies.
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 Department started to scan all the national figurative marks. At the end of year 2000 the Department continues the process by building up a new electronic database consisted of all the figurative marks.
The figurative marks are now kept in a database and reachable by use of the IT-system. All manual work for searching is closed.
All paper documents related to national and international applications are kept in a paper-built archive. The Department is moving to an electronic way in the daily working but this process will take time. So far all outgoing correspondence is available within the IT-system.
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 2003 the Department continued to store also international applications and EU-applications in the same database. Nowadays a modern database is upheld and consist of all relevant trademark applications including images.
V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems
The Department is connected to the system Internet and to E-mail. All employees have there own e-mailaddress and there is also official e-mailaddresses for the 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 Department in the city Söderhamn then is connected with the IBM mainframe in Stockholm.
In 1999 the Department started a project to implement a new IT-system (Ptolemy) for national and international trademarks. The IT-system consists of two parts and each part of 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
In October 2002 the Department implemented the part 1.
That IT-system is named Ptolemy and developed together with the company Sword. The system has been very important tool for the Department in the ambition to reduce the examination time.
This system is tight connected with the search system Acsepto.
In 2002 the 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 pay the pre calculated fee at the same time. This concept was taken in production in 2004 and has been a huge success.
In December 2004 about 40 % of all applications were incoming in an electronic way and that part continues to increase.
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 SPRO 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.
SPRO has also modernized the library. In the library you can find a lot of computer facilities for searching in internal and external databases. Newsletter and literature is available for studying and researching.
The intention is that all relevant data and images for national trademarks, international trademarks and EU-trademarks should be stored and accessible in SPRO`s database.
For some of the more complex search criteria’s the client has to pay a fee to the Sales department.
It is free of charge to use simple search criteria’s 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 there 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 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 the results, search reports, are sent to the OHIM in an electronic way.
These improvements were implemented during the year 2002. Since 2003 the Department has handled 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 Department is invited as lectures.
IX. Other relevant matters
In March 1998, the Department was relocated from Stockholm to Söderhamn. A completely new organisation was built up. The 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.
Department has managed to handle the WIPO applications in both directions within the prescribed time limits.
By the end of year 2004, the average processing time was around 5 months for national trademark applications.
A new vision and strategy plan for the information technology has been made for the Department. In accordance with these intentions the Department had worked very hard to convert and implement new systems within modern technology.
The Department 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 was implemented.
This system together with a modern processing working way within the Department has given good opportunity for the whole organisation to reached the goals determined by the government.
At SPRO level, a project is running with the objective of improving the Internet homepage. This implies that the Department takes 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 criterias which are free of charge.
For more sophistic and complex search criterias the client has to pay a fee for these facilities.
Finally a project started in 2002 to make it possible for an electronic filing of national trademark applications. The quality of data in these applications is very high because it is a lot of checking points before sending the application to the Department.
The client has to pay the pre calculated fee before the application is considered to be an incoming application. This concept is now taken in production. It has been a huge success for both the clients and the Department.
About 40 % of all applications are now coming in an electronic way and that part is increasing.