As described in the news published on September 14, 2015, from November 24, 2014, OHIM has introduced the new „Fast Track” procedure for European Union trademark applications, which allows and guarantees the trademark application to be examined and published in half the time or even faster, as compared to regular applications. In the past eight months since the introduction of the procedure the European Union trademark applications accepted as Fast Track cases were published on average within seven days. However, Fast Track does not necessarily mean that the European trademark (Community trademark) will be registered more quickly since sometimes there is a conflicting trademark opposing the application.
Applicants are strongly recommended to apply for Fast Track by using the Five-step online application form or the Advanced application form. The Five-step Form has been created for Fast Track, while the Advanced Form alerts applicants whether the application is a Fast Track or not. However, for more complex European Union trademark applications, applicants are advised to use the Advanced application form (for example 1) when filing a collective trademark; 2) when claiming transformation of the International trademark; 3) when providing own list of goods and services, etc.). If the European trademark application fulfills the Fast Track conditions, a Fast Track logo on top of the trademarks’ timeline in E-search plus can be seen.
The Fast Track procedure is available free of charge to applicants who comply with the following full conditions:
- The domicile of the applicant should be in the European Union. If this requirement has not been completed, the applicant must identify a representative.
- The trademark should be one of the following types: wordmark, figurative mark, sound mark, 3D mark.
- The trademark does not have to be a collective trademark.
- The trademark should not be described.
- There should be no disclaimer.
- The applicant should not request a National Search.
- There should not be a priority or seniority claims.
- In case there is a priority/ seniority claim, the trademarks on which the claim is based can be imported from TMView at the moment of the application process;
- In case there is a priority/ seniority claim and the trademarks on which the claim is based are not in TMView, then the attachment of the corresponding certificate is necessary.
- Fast Track is possible in case of a claim of exhibition priority when an attachment containing the corresponding certificate is provided.
- Applicants must select the goods and services from OHIM’s harmonized database, which contains more than 60 000 terms that have already been accepted and translated. This makes the Fast Track procedure safer because choosing from the approved harmonized database any deficiencies are reduced and applicants can be sure that they have made the right choices with regards to the goods and services.
- Applicants must pay upfront, which means that OHIM’s examiners can start examining the application when the payment has been made. Applicants can pay via credit card, bank transfer or OHIM current account. Furthermore, once the application fee has been paid it will not be refunded even in case there is any deficiency regarding the application.
- If the applicant uses a language which is different from OHIM’s five languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish), then the translation proposed by OHIM in the second language chosen from one of these five languages should be accepted.
Applicants should be warned that even though the application may comply with Fast Track conditions at the time of filing, the Fast Track status can be lost later on. This can be a result of a deficiency identified during the absolute grounds examination, such as the trade mark is not distinctive enough. Other reasons for losing the Fast Track status are: late payment, limitation of goods and services, missing priority or seniority attachments.
If you would like to register a European Union trademark you are therefore advised to contact a trademark attorney for professional advice and preparation of all necessary documents. The Bulgarian IP lawyer Krasimira Kadieva will gladly assist you during the registration process of your European Union trademark by providing professional advice and preparation of all necessary documents.
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Legal Disclaimer: The content of this material prepared by Krasimira Kadieva is intended for general information purposes only and aims to inform the applicants of European Union Trade Marks about the full conditions of Fast Track procedure for European Union Trade Mark applications. It does not constitute a legal opinion and cannot be interpreted as individual consultation on any concrete facts or circumstances. The advice of intellectual property specialist should be obtained for specific questions and situations. Despite the efforts to offer accurate and up-to-date information, there is no guarantee that it will remain so after the publication day. For further information on the above-mentioned issues and individual consultations, please contact Krasimira Kadieva at 00359 882 308 670 or make an inquiry using the contact form of this website. Krasimira Kadieva is a Bulgarian and European trademark and design attorney. She offers comprehensive analysis and strategy for the effective protection of trademarks as objects of industrial property, both at the time of registration and in violation of the rights thereto. The Bulgarian trademark lawyer Krasimira Kadieva assists in all types of trademark registrations by providing professional advice and preparation of all necessary documents.