What a challenging time to be an international trademark manager.  The trademark world is changing, quite literally, from day to day.  The retroactive price increases have been particularly fun to deal with!
The existence of a reliable, worldwide trademark management (and filing) system is progressing towards reality.  It’s been an exciting several years with several more just like it to come. 

In the first quarter of 2017 alone, I have already received notification on the following sweeping & immediate changes effecting international trademark filings in the following countries:

Venezuela        A price increase of 69.5% to most patent and trademark filings

Egypt               A retroactive price increase on patent filings of over 100%

India                A new law and price increases of 25%-125%

Saudi Arabia   Yet another price increase on various trademark filings, most notably publication

Qatar               Changes to filing practices in classes 42-45 and adopts the Nice Class Codes

Japan               The trademark search database was “hacked” and therefore unavailable for days

USA                New guidelines on sample requirements, including increased fees on most trademark                                services

Singapore        Fee increases on April 1 2017 to trademark services

TMView          Not yet reliable enough to be used for trademark search or management without using                              additional sources

Australia          Has a new look on-line

Canada            Has a new trademark trademark title certificate in honor of 150 years, and has adopted                              the Nice Class Codes

Bahrain            Has launched a new electronic filing system

Cambodia        Joined the TMView (right before the new year)

Windows 10    Causing all sorts of mind boggling problems (including massive data usage) behind the                            scenes

LinkedIn          Has a brand new format
TIPS for Weathering The Bumpy Trademark Seas

1.      Make sure you use multiple trademark search sources (databases)
  • for example, when searching EU, search also the national databases, WIPO, and TMView

2.      Keep abreast of current trends (LinkedIn is a good place)
  • sign up for Groups that interest you and get a weekly news letter summary via e-mail

3.      Use experienced international trademark professionals in every country
  • yes, there are free search databases on-line that are excellent for direct hit searches, but these generally do not provide the variation actually needed to determine if a trademark is register-able (or not)...and, do you have the experience to check those variations ?

4.      Verify rates every 60 days
  • new laws, new electronic systems, new procedures, new documents required..things are changing rapidly...don’t trust what you think you know if your information is more than 60 days            old

5.      Think globally, not nationally
  • because the world is growing smaller every year, in terms of commerce...it is no longer enough to do a country only trademark search with a single database source...search engines and social media for common law...TMView, WIPO, and national databases for trademark rights.

6.      Invest in a solid trademark management tool (a database to keep track of dates, country details and other information)



 


Comments

Life become more expensive from year to year. Life is changeable and we just should adapt to the reality.

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04/10/2017 7:13pm

Life is changing as time continues to run. We must always be ready for the changes that may occur because it is necessary for the business. If you can't adapt changes in your life and in your business, I am certain that your business will fail or you'll not be successful in your life. So, prepare yourself because there many more changes that will come.

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