UKIPO offers trade mark rule change guidance

The UK Intellectual Property Office will be offering advice and practical help on forthcoming changes to the Trade Marks Act in a series of events being held around the country this September.

The reforms take effect on 1st October 2007 and reduce the number of cases in which the Trade Marks Registry will oppose a trade mark application. It will no longer oppose marks which conflict with prior registrations. The holders of prior marks will have to object themselves.

The changes were contained in the Trade Marks (Relative Grounds) Order. The practical impact is that holders of international and Community Trade Marks (CTMs) will have to be more vigilant about trade mark applications in the UK.

Each UKIPO event will last for around two hours and will include a presentation focussing on the trade mark system and the impact of the changes to legislation. The event will conclude with a question and answer session.

"These changes affect every trade mark applicant and holder, and the Office is keen to ensure that as many of our customers are made aware of the change in our procedures," said Robin Webb, director of trade marks at the UKIPO.

The UKIPO events take place in London on 3rd and 4th September, Birmingham on 7th September, Manchester on 10th September, Newport, South Wales on 11th September, Leeds 14th September and Glasgow on 17th September.