On January 29 2016, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) published a Communication of the President regarding the new fee structure for renewal of Community Trade Marks (CTMs). This fee structure stems from the new EU Trade Mark Regulation 2015/2424 which takes effect on 23 March 2016.
Under the new fee structure, renewals must be carried out by the expiry date of the Trade Mark registration as opposed to the end of the month. This applies to all registrations where the renewal periods commence after 23 March 2016.
Reduced fees will also apply to CTMs that expire on or after 23 March 2016 (even where renewal is applied for and paid for before this date). OHIM has confirmed that if any excess renewal fees are paid, they will be refunded.
The level of reduction of the renewal fees is significant, by approximately 37% in some cases (€850 instead of €1350 for a registration in one class). This is obviously welcome news for trade mark owners.
In relation to CTMs that are expiring before 23 March 2016, the current fee structure will continue to apply, even if the payment is made after 23 March.
A copy of the Communication can be read here.
To contact us about CTM renewal fees or other issues, call or email your usual FRKelly contact or get in touch with Niamh Hall, European Trade Mark Partner.