In 2010 the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) received 13 694 applications for trademark registration, almost the same as for 2009 (13 727).
National and international applications
The number of national trademark applications filed by Norwegian residents increased by 5 % , and by 9 % for foreign applicants. (see figure below). However international registrations filed via the international system for trademark registration (Madrid Protocol), fell 6 % in 2010 compared to 2009.
Final decisions were made in approximately 12 775 trademark cases in 2010, a 19 % drop from 2009. This is mainly a result of fewer resources, the continuing focus on improving the quality of trademark examination procedures, and changes in procedures following the new Trademark Act which came into force 1st July 2010.
Cases under examination
The number of cases under examination increased in 2010 to 9 099, in spite of the fact that the number of applications has remained stable. As mentioned above, this is due to fewer resources, and a continuing focus on improving the quality of our examination procedures.
In 2010, the average time taken to process a national application was 4.8 months (3.1 in 2009), and 4 months for an international registration (3.8 in 2009), from the date of filing the application until registration or the first written opinion.
The Design and Trademark Department is planning measures to increase productivity in the first quarter 2011.
Administrative review of business name registration
The Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) received 53 claims for administrative review of business name registration in 2010, approximately the same as for 2009. Examination time was one month, after necessary documentation was presented. We processed 70 cases, and at the end of the year there were 13 cases awaiting a final decision.
New Trademark Act and Trademark Regulations
The new Trademark Act and Regulations came into force 1st July 2010.
The new Act confirmed the principle of EEA regional consumption, and introduced administrative review of trademarks by NIPO. It also allows for the splitting of a trademark registration - a change which was brought about to harmonise Norwegian legislation with international regulations (Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks). When filing an application, it is now necessary to include a list of goods and services, for which the application applies. The registration period of 10 years is now calculated from the filing date, not the date of registration as has previously been the case.
In addition, it is no longer necessary for foreign applicants and owners to have a representative domiciled in Norway. This also applies to patents, designs, trademarks and plant breeding rights. Instead, there are new Regulations regarding the official address for correspondence.
New Regulation on Fees
In 2010 NIPO carried out a complete revision of all fees, with regard to both justification and size, and a new Regulation on Fees was drawn up. Some of the terminology has been clarified. Most fees remained unchanged, others had a slight increase. The new Regulation came into effect from 1st January 2011.
Trademark applications filed in Norway follow much the same trend as for the other Nordic countries with regard to both national applications and international designations. Figures show that national applications dropped from 2008 to 2009, and then increased again in 2010. As for international designations, these dropped from 2008 to 2009, and then again in 2010.
Figures from OHIM* show that the number of filings for a Community Trademark increased by 12 % from 2009 to 2010. The trend continues whereby international businesses prefer filing their applications to larger regional markets such as EU and USA, instead of to Norway.
Applications and registrations for Community Trademark (OHIM):
Amongst the Nordic countries there is a mixed result for Community Trademark (CTM) applications. Norwegian filings remained stable, while the other Nordic countries increased their numbers slightly. However as Norway is not a member of the EU, this trend is not significant. The other Nordic countries are members of the EU, and the Community Trademark can therefore be a substitute for a national registration.
Norwegian applicants have filed a total of 2 486 CTM applications since 1996.
CTM Applications filed to OHIM* by Nordic countries:
*OHIM is the European Union agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs that are valid in all 27 countries of the EU.