Electronic filing requirements clarified

United Kingdom

The UK Trademarks Registry has issued General Notice - applying for a trademark electronically, which clarifies electronic filing requirements. There are a variety of methods available; the most suitable method for an organization depends on how it prepares its application.

Organizations that make a large number of applications and have a database or record management system that can produce XML files in the correct format can simply email their applications. The Trademarks Registry will supply the relevant data and image file formats. Another option would be to use PaTrAS, a piece of software that has been developed jointly by the patent and trademark offices of Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as part of the MIPEX II project. These offices use the program to facilitate the trademark application process. PaTrAS can accept XML files and, providing the applicant organization can produce the files in the required format, can be used instead of the direct XML approach.

Regular applicants that use a word processor to complete their forms can utilize the PaTrAS data capture facility. PaTrAS can:

  • check applications;

  • inform the applicant of any problems;

  • provide a print for the applicant's records;

  • manage the electronic applications;

  • allow applications to be authorized; and

  • email applications to the Registry.

It can be tailored to a single user or multi-user environment, with different roles assigned to the staff that prepare applications, those that authorize them, those that maintain office records and those that send the applications. The software will be freely available, but interested parties must attend a training session. Once PaTrAS is installed and applicants have made a few satisfactory test applications, they can commence 'live' applications.

Applicants that wish to use these electronic services must open a deposit account with the Registry. Confirmation of applications will be automatically sent via email with unique reference numbers to quote when making any queries. The Registry is currently in the process of developing a web form suitable for those applicants that only ever make one or two applications a month and tend to fill in the form by hand.

Aaron Wood, Hammonds, London

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