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The response document sets out government policy in light of the recent consultation on the potential reintroduction of a fast track examination procedure for trade marks. It indicates the government’s intention not to reintroduce this service, based on the lack of demand identified in the responses that were received.
We first consulted on the introduction of a fast track service in 2007. The Gowers Review 2006, suggested that fast track processing of trade marks, subject to the payment of a higher fee, should be pursued in order to speed up the registration process when required by an applicant in any given case. The majority of responses to this consultation were positive and, subsequently, fast track processing of trade marks came into effect in April 2008. The fast track examination service was suspended in 2009, due to a combination of low take up and the short time to examination using the standard procedure, at that time.
In late 2012 the idea of reintroducing the service was raised by the then Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Marland. But, since then, circumstances have changed and the introduction of a new IT processing system in early 2013 has meant that examination periods using the standard procedure are again very short. Therefore we believe it is an appropriate time to consult on the need, and demand, for the reintroduction of the service.
This consultation is particularly relevant to trade mark owners, or legal representatives. But it’s not limited to these groups and responses from all interested parties are welcome.