LESS EXPENSIVE TRADE MARK PROTECTION IN EUROPE
The fees of the Office of Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM) are going to be reduced. This decision was adopted by Member State ministers at the meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 21 May. The European Commission is called on to work out the details of the fee reduction, in particular the exact amount of future fees. This proposal should be accompanied by a comprehensive impact assessment. The European Commission should also start work on a comprehensive study on the overall functioning of the Community Trade Mark system which has to be completed as a matter of priority because any future discussions on the fees policy should take into consideration the result of this study.
The main goal of this decision is to balance the budget. OHIM has experienced annual budget surpluses which by the end of 2006 resulted in cumulative cash reserves of more than 200 million euro, despite a reduction of the applicable fees which took effect in 2005.