January 11, 2018

Amendments to the Austrian Trademark Protection Act and the official fee changes

The Austrian Patent Office proceeds with the fulfillment of the requirements, prescribed by the Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council, by introducing a series of amendments into its national trademark legislation.

The first changes were introduced on September 1, 2017, when trademark registration fees were reduced to 284 EUR and 464 EUR for online individual and collective/certification mark applications respectively. An additional fee of 75 EUR for each further class over three remains unchanged. The availability search currently costs 40 EUR and is excluded from the obligatory trademark registration procedures, making the proceedings faster.

Also, significant legal changes have been implemented, such as the introduction of certification marks, and cancellation of a possibility of adding goods and services to the registered trademarks. Besides, the applicant may now divide national trademark applications or registrations into several ones, saving the filing date of the initial or the priority application.

Among the modifications to become effective as of September 1, 2018, is the changeover of the validity term calculation, i.e. the ten-year term of Austrian trademark validity will be counted from an application filing date instead of a trademark registration date. This provision will also be applied to the existing trademarks, shortening their upcoming protection term. However, the trademark renewal fees will be reduced depending on the length of the shortened term.

Besides, the requirements for changing of the applicant’s/owner’s details will be simplified. The documents can be submitted electronically, without notarization of signature.

The Directive is aimed to make the trademark prosecution in the European countries quicker, more user-friendly, and up-to-date. There are several due dates for the patent offices of EU member states to comply with the provisions of the Directive, and the closest one is January 2019. Austria has adopted its legislation only partially; thus, further amendments are expected later this year.

Our team is always aware of any legal amendments, timely reflecting them in our applicant’s guide. Besides, we monitor changes in the fees and update our quotation system so that you may get the most accurate quote for various IPR registrations.  

Author: Lynda Miller