In view of the current global economy crisis, several cost-cutting measures have been introduced by the European Patent Office, the European Union Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office, and the Japanese Patent Office in order to reduce the financial burden of applicants who may be affected by the crisis.
European Patent Office (EPO)
The recent London Agreement that was enforced since May 2008 stipulates that European patents that are filed in France, Germany, UK, Switzerland and Monaco no longer require a translation into their respective native languages as before. This would be a tremendous nudge in the direction of cost reduction in filing for patents in Europe as translation costs can reach up to 25% of filing costs. This anticipated reduction of costs will translate to businesses finding it easier to protect their ideas and market new inventions.
The European Union Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office (OHIM)
OHIM and the European Commission have announced that the overall cost to obtain a Community Trade Mark will be reduced by 40% from 1st May 2009. In a move that makes Community Trade Marks more accessible and affordable to small- and medium-sized business owners, registration fees will no longer be payable on any new applications or those still pending at the time of implementation.
Japanese Patent Office (JPO)
The Japanese Patent Office has also announced a cost-cutting measure with respect to official fees that was previously due when an applicant requests for examination. As of April 2009, the applicant will be allowed to defer the official fee payment for up to one year from the date of filing the request for examination. This deferment would be most useful for applicants who may require additional time to amend claims and concurrently save on filing costs as they decide on their claims.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further clarifications on these matters.