The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) recently reached agreement on a list of identifications and classifications for goods and services that will be accepted in trademark applications filed in the three offices. Having a consistent list for all three offices will make trademark registration easier and faster in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Representatives from the USPTO, OHIM and JPO, known as the Trademark Trilateral Partnership group, have been working for over two years on this project.
"This is a wonderful step for all three offices, but its greatest significance is that it benefits users of our trademark registration systems," noted Acting Under Secretary for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas. "Knowing that a given trademark identification will be accepted by the European Union, Japan, and the United States provides the type of certainty that facilitates business and encourages American entrepreneurs to obtain intellectual property protection in global markets."
"I am greatly satisfied with the results, which form part of ongoing efforts to harmonize office practices in the interest of the users of the system," Wubbo de Boer, President of OHIM said of the agreement. Hiroshi Tsuda, Director-General of Trademark, Design and Administrative Affairs for JPO, added, "this project will significantly support applicants under the Madrid Protocol."
Trademark examination will be faster for filers who use designations from the list to describe and classify their goods or services because examiners in each of the three offices will know immediately that the identification of the goods or services comes from the approved list. The initial list includes over 7,000 entries, and thousands more will be added as new designations of goods and services are agreed to by the offices.
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