Last week, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) marked 25 years of receiving trade mark applications, with a total of 2.2 million filings since then. The EUIPO is certainly one of the most respected and well-known IP offices to date, with trade mark applications escalating yearly.
Further, their continuous progress throughout the years has also witnessed a decrease in their fees, making the EU trade mark accessible to more businesses and companies. A total of 22,000 applications were filed in the first month alone, with the IP office only predicting 15,000 for the whole year. This was to set the tone for what was to come, with the number of applications increasing by at least 5% per year thereafter. Further, a digital change can also be witnessed, as back in 1996 all would have been filed by fax, compared to now, where 99% of all trade mark applications are filed online.
This makes the Cooperation Fund one of the EUIPO’s largest projects to date. The latter enabled all member states to make e-filing a reality by 2015, allowing for improved harmonisation throughout the EU. However, such significant enhancements do not come without criticisms, as concerns arise over the ‘rigid’ approach to classification and registrability of trade marks. While it is possible a more flexible approach may be witnessed further down the line, for now, we can celebrate 25 years of excellence, growth and success.
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