The Community Trade Mark Office (OHIM) offers a fast track option to applicants to have their Community Trademark Applications (CTMs) examined and published with a faster turnaround than standard applications. In our experience, the entire process from filing to registration (inclusive of the mandatory 3 month opposition term) is generally completed within 4 months. This is less than half the usual time for a standard CTM application. Although the fast track filing option is available at no extra charge, the CTM application must meet 14 conditions in order to be eligible for this accelerated procedure. Stobbs can advise you on these in detail, but the key requirement that tends to have the most impact upon whether or not this route is appropriate for any specific application is this:
All of the terms used in the specification of goods and services must be selected from a database of terms accepted by the CTM office. The CTM office describes this policy as an advantage of the new fast track procedure since it “greatly reduces any deficiencies” in the application, thereby avoiding any delays during the examination stage. In practice, it enables the CTM office to process applications more quickly since all of the terms have been pre-approved and, most notably, pre-translated, thereby saving time. Clearly, this new fast track route will be very attractive to many applicants, particularly those with straightforward specification requirements. However, on balance, it should also be noted that not all applicants’ commercial activities can be easily characterised using the (sometimes) limited terms that have been pre-approved by the CTM office. In these cases, such applicants may still require bespoke specifications to be drafted in order to best determine and cover the scope of their registered trade mark needs.
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