"[...] A cut in European Union trademark fees could finally be in sight after Brussels said it planned legal changes to tackle a mounting surplus of funds at the EU trademark office this year.
Charlie McCreevy, the internal market commissioner, told a meeting of industry ministers in Brussels that he planned a legislative proposal before the end of the year. [...]"
A bit of the background beomes clear from Document 9874/08 drawn up by the Council Secretariat. The Document conveyed a Note received from the Portuguese delegation on the abovementioned subject, to be raised under "Any other business" in the meeting of the Competitiveness Council which was held on May 29-30, 2008.
The Note argues that, as a result of the high fees charged for Community trade marks, the Community Office currently has a surplus of more than EUR 300 million which is increasing at the rate of EUR 1 million per week.
The Portuguese arguted that, faced with such wastage, OHIM took the view that fees for Community trade marks should be reduced for the benefit of Community undertakings and citizens.
A similar position was adopted by the Competitiveness Council in Brussels in May 2007 in its conclusions on the Financial Perspectives of OHIM and the further development of the Community trade mark system1. In those conclusions the European Commission was called upon to immediately propose a reduction of the fees for Community trade marks.
Portugal's official position is that the fees for Community trade marks must be unconditionally and unrestrictedly reduced. To date, however, the fees remain unchanged.