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Archived updates for Thursday, March 02, 2006

European Community Trademark and Registered Design Data for 2005

From the European Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market's brief summary of Community Trademark ("CTM") and Registered Community design ("RCD") input and performance levels report for 2005:

On the whole, the Office has experienced a substantial increase in the
total numbers of CTMs and RCDs filed in the year 2005, both in terms of the
Office management’s initial expectations and in comparison with the previous
year. The use of electronic filing has been particularly high for CTMs,
especially in the last quarter of 2005. It has also achieved substantial
improvements in the time taken to undertake many of the processes in the
registration procedures, especially in the area of issuing receipts for e-filed
applications, Absolute Grounds examination, the publication of CTM applications
and the time taken to register the CTM from the date of reception.

However, the time taken to issue receipts for CTM applications filed by
fax or mail has been longer than expected. The Office hopes to achieve
better results over the coming year.

As regards decisions by the Boards of Appeal, their fewer number in 2005 is
to be attributed to several factors among which the fact that a legislative
change augments the time of the inter partes procedure (expressly allowing a
double exchange of written submissions by both parties which can mean an
additional 6 months). Therefore inter partes cases have been comparatively
few before the rapporteurs. The average time to decide on a case has,
however, come down significantly in the Boards in 2005 (from 8.4 months in
the last quarter of 2004 to 5.2 months end of 2005). The year 2006 will
therefore be a challenging one for the Boards as the inter partes cases will
become ready for decision in important numbers that will come to the
rapporteurs in a big wave. Maintaining an acceptable time for decision will
be challenging and will require the Boards to take a number of decisions that
is significantly higher than last year.

The improvements experienced between 2004 and 2005 are undoubtedly due
to the increased effort and output of the Office staff, and further advances
in the same direction can be expected in the year 2006.
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