The OHIM fee reduction sounded at first like a great sales pitch to raise business - until you realise that there is no implementation date and no idea of transitional provisions. What do I say to prospective applicants? Surely the ethical advice is to wait until your client can save.
Now the UK IPO has joined the band wagon but their fee reductions have a prospective implementation date 1 October 2009 - the need for consultation precludes taking the other change opportunity of 1 April 2009 - who is the fool here? - practitioners who insist on consultation.
This FT article suggests a price war between the offices but it seems that we are the ones to lose out. While businesses planning re-brands and product launches must continue to protect their trade marks, filing is generally a discretionary spend in the small and medium sector. Best to wait then.
Lets hope the drafters of the OHIM regulation can give us some guidance on policy soon. Perhaps announcing that the registration fee for marks filed since the announcement would be abolished. That would mean that filing now would be cheaper. Go on Europe - give us a stimulus.