Annual Technical Report 2007 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by United Kingdom (SCIT/ATR/TM/2007/GB)

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

National applications:
2006 applications: 32,049
2007 applications:33,375

International applications:
2006 applications: 7455
2007 applications: 6552

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

Domestic trade mark demand increased by 4.1% in 2007 compared to 2006 and 16.3% compared to 2005.

Compared to 2006, International applications were down by 12.1% in 2007.

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

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

Publishing, printing, copying techniques

The Trade Marks Journal is published in electronic form only. It is produced and edited via networked PCs.

Bibliographic data for the journal is transfered from the mainframe OPTICS system with figuratuve data being taken from IBIS. The journal is available on our website for public view. Once published, trade marks face an opposition period of 3 months.

Madrid Protocol applications are also published in the Trade Marks Journal for opposition purposed. This information is obtained from our TMAD system.

The journal is searchable by agent, proprietor, mark or image and journals are available on our website for a period of 12 months.

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

There is a journal backpart contained in the online Trade Marks Journal. This is where announcements, including names and address, marks entered onto the register, assignment of trade marks and details of trade mark licences are held.

We publish all other official notices, such as changes in practice and proceedure, on our website.

The office has a subscriber based alerter service whereby an email alert is issued to notify changes in practice, proceedure or forms.

Word processing and office automation

All staff in the Trade Marks Registry are equipped with networked Pentium 4 PCs which are connected to a local area network running Novell Netware 6.5. Standard automation products available to all staff include Microsoft Office products such as Word and Excel.

An object orientated system called TERN is available for generating examination reports.

A PC system called QUALS is available to trade mark examiners via their networked PCs allowing them to view and print details of cases discussed at weekly practice meetings.

Techniques used for the generation of trademark information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)

The main channels for distribution of trade mark information are:

a)Individual applications or registration through the Trade Marks Journal publication and through changes notified in the Journal backpart.
b) Via our website. Important announcements are highlighted on the front page.
c) Through the supply of data to commercial providers on a contractual basis.
d) Via consultation exercises when statutorily required ir when major changes are proposed.

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

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)

The UK uses the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purpose of the Registration of Marks (NICE Classification) 9th edition. Examiners are not obliged to use pre-defined terms but any terms which are not understood or which are unclear will be queried during the examination process. Classification terms deemed acceptable by our specialist Classification Team are collated and incorporated into a searchable guide available on our website.

For figurative marks the UK uses a version of the Vienna classification system.

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

No electronic classification systems are used to check the lists of goods and services provided by applicants.

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

There is no obligation for applicants to use pre-defined classification terms. General classification advice can be obtained by our Central Enquiry Unit or our internal Classification Team. As new terms are acceptable they are added to our classification database and made available to examiners and via the internet.

IV. Trademark manual search file establishment and upkeep

File Building

Trade mark applications can be made in paper and electronically via our website.

All applications are built into paper case files which are kept in on the examination teams in the main office building until the application is published for opposition. Once publication has been achieved, the file is despatched to our off-site file storage facility.


The search files contain UK domestic marks, designations to the UK and to OHIM under the Madrid Protocol and Community trade marks and are updated weekly.

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

Details of Community trade marks are obtained from the CTM download files and details of designations to OHIM under the Madrid Protocol are obtained from WIPO

V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

Searching trade marks is carried out using our IBIS system. Trade mark examiners have an intergrated search screen, word terms are then sent to the Marksman search deceloped by the Swedish Patent Office. Figurative elements use the IBIS system itself for search, the results are then collated and presented as integrated resilts. Word searching can alos be done on the OPTICS mainframe. The statutiry search undertaken covers UK national marks, designations under the Madrid Protocol and OHIM marks and designations to OHIM made through the Madrid Protocol.

Commercial search services are also offered covering these marks.

External databases

No external databases are used for trade mark search. Community trade mark information is downloaded using the OHIM XML data which is then passed to the search system IBIS, Marksman and OPTICS via a reception system. For designations to OHIM under the Madrid Protocol to be introduced to our search sustems, XML files are downloaded from WIPO.

Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)

Management information is produced from the OPTICS, TMAD, IBIS and TERN systems, The TERN system prodices statistics which identify the number of, and results of examination processes. Records of the number , results and timeliness of opposition, invalidity, rectification and revocation actions is maintained by LAWS, a customer based system.

Results of e-filed applications are available from our e-filing system.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used

UK trade mark staff access all search systems via their networked PCs.

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)

Planning, administration, automation, security

Public search is available from the UK-IPO's main site in Newport, South Wales and at the British Library in London. Only electronic searching is available. Public availability to paper records are only available by request providing the relevant trade mark has been published. Copies of paper documents can also be purchased via our Trade Marks Sales team.

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)

Trade marks applications can be made online, by post, fax, in person or via the PaTraS sustem which allows customers to file directly with an XML file or by means of an automatically generated email.

Publications are available from our Central Enquiry Unit and our website. We also give online access to legal decisions, examination practice and procedures including classification and copies of all available forms.

All trade marks can be viewed via the Internet through a specific case enquiry function.

Our website also offers an electronic caveat sustem which allows customers to be notified by email of any changes to a selected trade mark without charge. This is also available as a paper based system where this is a charge for this service. Trade mark renewals can also be made electronically.

Our Search & Advisory service allows customer to get advice on the registrability of a specific trade mark.

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

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.

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

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of trademark documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of trademark information, e.g., in the form of official gazettes

The UK national Trade MArks journal is available via the Office's website. There is no ongoing programme of mutual exchange of trade mark documentation but any documentation is made available on request. The UK in an active member of an International Benchmarking club which is working on collaborative ventures.

Exchange of machine-readable information

No machine readable information is available.

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)

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

UK-IPO staff attend events, seminars, conferences and exhibitions throughout the UK. Our Business Outreach and Education (BOE) team also undertake a wide range of activites designed to highlight trade marks.

We are in the second year of our "Cracking Ideas" campaign which aims to get primary school children involved in intellectual property.

Training courses for national and foreign participants

Training courses and seminars are undertaken by Office staff on a wide range of topics including current trade mark examination practice and inter partes actions. Speakers are also offered to seminars arranged by other organisation covering such topics as e-business.

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

Office experts have visited a number of countries to offer assistance and several visits have been made by staff from national offices.

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

Following a consultation in 2006, on 1 October 2007 the office changed it's practice to no longer refuse to register a trade mark under section 5 grounds (earlier rights).

In April 2008 a fast track examination process was made available for e-filed applications. For a premium fee, applicants will receive their examination report within 10 working days.

contain the Annual Report of the Office

contain trademark-related news regarding the Office

X. Other relevant matters