Trevor Little

The policy goal of OHIM becoming a truly paperless office is not a new one. However, this week it has stepped up its efforts to encourage increased use of its online services, revealing the firms and individuals that are leading the electronic charge.

In the latest edition of World Trademark Review magazine, which was published online this week, we present our annual OHIM focus, in which we reveal the top filers of Community trademarks and registered Community designs, and ask users to assess the office’s current performance. Overall positivity towards OHIM's performance over the past 12 months had increased when compared to our 2014 focus, with “improvements in e-communications and online functionality” cited as a key contributor. This week OHIM reported that more than 95,000 direct trademarks and 75,000 designs were applied for electronically last year, while its 2014 annual report notes that trademark e-filing accounted for 98% of activity, rising 2.5% on 2013 (the design e-filing rate grew by 12% to reach 92%). To further highlight the use of its electronic tools, the office has now revealed the top users (those registered as representatives, comprising associations, lawyers, OHIM professionals and employee representatives) of its online services.

To qualify, users’ online applications had to be 99% or higher for their total volume of filings and they had to be active e-communication users for a given quarter – they were then ranked by the volume of their electronic trademark, design and opposition filings. The top 20 are:  

  1. Bugnion Spa (Italy)
  2. Clarke, Modet & Co (Spain)
  3. Pons Patentes Y Marcas Internacional S (Spain)
  4. Isern Patentes Y Marcas, SL (Spain)
  5. Barzano & Zanardo (Italy)
  6. Ray Young (United Kingdom)
  7. Awapatent AB (Sweden)
  8. Casalonga (Spain)
  9. Zacco Sweden AB (Sweden)
  10. Al & Partners SRL (Italy)
  11. Lane IP Limited (United Kingdom)
  12. Abril Abogados (Spain)
  13. Baker & Mckenzie LLP (United Kingdom)
  14. Friedrich Graf Von Westphalen & Partner (Germany)
  15. Office Kirkpatrick NV/SA (Belgium)
  16. Perani & Partners Spa (Italy)
  17. José Monteiro (France)
  18. Merk-Echt BV (Netherlands)
  19. Tomkins & Co (Ireland)
  20. Heinonen & Co (Finland)

The report, which will be published on a quarterly basis, is clearly designed to both highlight the online services that are available (and the use being made of them) and encourage users to migrate further to electronic interaction with the office. Alongside the overall list and country-by-country breakdowns of the top e-users is a ranking of those whose online interactions with OHIM are growing most rapidly. By identifying those leading the electronic charge, the message is clear – if you aren’t on it, you should be striving to make the list.

OHIM’s 2014 Annual Report cites the intensification of user engagement with its e-business solutions as a key focus for the future, explaining that “the term ‘e-business’ refers not only to the initial filing of applications or oppositions, but to the entire range of communications and transactions between the office and its users. By encouraging more e-communication, the office will simultaneously increase the quality of the system, by reducing the amount of scanning and subsequent processing of paper files, and also benefit the environment. The ultimate goal is to move to a paperless office”. Whether such a goal is achievable remains to be seen, but OHIM clearly intends to find out. 

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