Tuesday 5 November 2013

Are you ready for the New OHIM Communication Revolution

This will soon be the face of OHIM
Will OHIM's new website come as a shock to you on Monday 25 November 2013? If you are a big firm you would have been offered a home visit and you might even have been part of the user group that tested the new user interface. Two were in London I am told, but I have not seen anything from ITMA on this topic. However if you missed the UK_IPO announced workshops that took place yesterday and today, you may be in for a shock when you come to do an on line filing on Monday 25th.

MY Page log ins are being migrated so you will be able to log in to the glitzy new User Area but its going to feel strange.  Remember its intuitive, so engage the inner child. You can still send a paper application by fax but there is no pdf form on the website anymore so get accustomed by going in and trying it.

If you want to do anything significant you will need to Sign Up - top right. However if you are not quite solo log in credentials can be shared and multiple log ins are allowed. If you have a deposit account the balance will be accessible from the User Area.

There are many good things. όλα είναι διαθέσιμα σε 23 γλώσσες. OK you can have it in any of the 23 European languages.

The Search looks promising but I am betting my carefully garnered direct links into CTM-Online are all going to be redundant, which is sad. Better access to the documents on the file (Sign Up now needed as OHIM think they need to know who is inspecting files) and a weird new Time line may be compensation. Cute is the idea that you can re-arrange the sections drag and drop style. Tabs have appeared too.

The Mailbox is new and allows bigger attachments for some actions. If you open a communication you can save the pdf or email it on to someone else. For Solo practitioners the new Communications look much improved and I think at last I can see what I am sending. Not sure, because there was no hands on access at yesterday's workshop.

One sad loss is that existing watches are all going to be scrapped and burned. Instead you can set them all up again in an eAlert system that integrates with the eSearch so you can be notified of any new results to your sophisticated query. The basic watch with RSI inducing boxes to tick for a specific mark is also available.

For the main online filing, we now have a form for transfers and a host of other recordals - very clever and it will make it much easier to do some of those that need several bits of information. There is also some handy integration with TMClass and TMView. As part of filling in your applicaiton form you can do a search that uses a similarity algorithm to give you an idea of problems ahead. Methinks this may be the same as the one those quick of the mark search examiners at OHIM use. It makes a useful tool to identify any imminent disaster areas that might cause you to abort a filing.

IPTranslator has left its mark here too. Gone is the tick box to put everything in the alphabetical list into your specification. You are encouraged to use the taxonomy but you are warned that using a group heading term does not necessarily cover everything underneath it. Just depends how a business man would understand it. Manual goods insertion is possible too, but you may have to look carefully. Priority informaiton can be imported from TMView (seniority too perhaps?)

If you can't wait head over to the IPO of Finland where it is alleged the online filing tool has already been implemented.

If you need to Be More Prepared I suppose we have to beg from one of those big firms that are part of the Beta. I have asked to join and if they let me in, you are very welcome to come and have a preview here in my basement.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously, new websites are all the rage at the moment with WIPO's launched this week!

    It seems a pity OHIM have not organised a webinar on this - like they did for taxonomy. Not everyone works for a large firm, like you say, but not all UK trade mark professionals work in London either (although I do appreciate they are the majority). It's the same for other EU member states where not all users will be based in the respective capital cities.

    It's perhaps ironic that the bigger firms have been asked to take part in this because I would bet not all use MyPage. I wonder if there are statistics? I'm sure they use e-filing for applications and, if they do renewals work, for renewals too to get the lower fees. Do they for oppositions though? I can see e-filing or fax filing oppositions being at a partner's discretion. These firms will have bigger records/docketing departments and they may find it more efficient to send and receive faxes than use MyPage. It's not just a case of old habits die hard. The UK, as with many other national offices, are still largely paper based and it can be useful to have similarities. Further, many firms will not be operating in a paperless environment. This is an observation not a criticism of such operations.

    WIPO's on-line systems may be more utilised as if you're not getting notifications through there then you'll be getting them by snail mail (registered or otherwise). This might be just enough an incentive.

    I don't have a fax machine and rely on e-mails and e-communication tools (I love them so I'd use them even if there was a fax machine handy). I think it would be better if OHIM invited a broad group of users into their user groups.

    When I worked in-house for a large CTM filer (strangely one based outside the EU), I was invited to test TMView when it was being rolled out. Should OHIM only be focussing on their "big clients" or should they be more "neutral"? There's probably a balance in there somewhere that I am not sure they have found.