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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
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New OHIM practice manual on its way

Class 46 has already mentioned this month's Alicante Newsletter, but one of our readers has suggested that we reproduce here the important notice that it commences with:

"Keeping trade marks on track: OHIM's new Manual of Trade Mark Practice

OHIM is introducing a new and more flexible way of communicating changes in trade mark practice to users, via a regularly-updated Manual, which will complement the existing Guidelines.

At present, trade mark applicants must refer to a number of resources starting with the Guidelines, which are updated only intermittently, practice notes published on the website, and Communications from the President. In addition, some unpublished practice notes also exist for internal use.

From the end of this month, the new trade mark Manual, published on the “Trade Marks/Practical Aspects” section of the website, will incorporate the bulk of the existing Guidelines (more than 95% will be unchanged in the first version), the content of the current Draft Guidelines, and other changes reflecting current Office practice, which would previously have been published as practice notes or communicated in Alicante News.

For example, information on the streamlining of opposition procedures was published in Alicante News last September. The changes simplify the admissibility check process, and reduce the administrative burden of having to ask for repeated renewals of suspensions.

This information, which will be included in the Manual, is not yet reflected in the Guidelines, because the change took place while the Draft Guidelines were being translated in preparation for consultation of the Administrative Board.

The publication of the Manual will accelerate the gradual phasing out of practice notes, and will create a one-stop-shop containing the latest information drawn from the diverse sources currently used. The system for the updating of the Guidelines will remain unchanged. Formal amendments will be subject to the customary consultation and the revised draft will be translated into OHIM's five official languages and submitted to the Administrative Board for its opinion before adoption.

In future, the important changes in Office practice that take place in between the formal revision and adoption of the guidelines will be reflected in the Manual, updates to which will be communicated to users via the website. From a practical point of view, the Manual should be the first point of reference for users of the Community trade mark system and professional advisors who wish to make sure they are using the latest information.

Combining the previously available information in a single document will lead to a more efficient and transparent evolution of Office practice, and ensure that exactly the same guidance is made available internally to staff and externally to users".

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 09.56
Tags: OHIM practice manual,
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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