6 December 2013

OHIM's new website

So OHIM has a new website (but this link might not load!) which launched on Monday.

It has been beset with problems. E-filings have been unavailable or just crashed too regularly to make it workable for many. I've heard that some firms have resorted to fax filings in order to get things filed. I imagine particularly for cases with a priority claim, but note that these filings carry an extra €150 fee. I wonder what OHIM's stance will be on refunding this excess, it's hardly the user's fault if they were unable to access the website due to OHIM server problems?

For small-time users an added problem will have been an inability to e-file will have had the knock-on impact of preventing them entering an on-line payment by credit card.

E-communications have been difficult to download. I have had letters addressed to firms in Germany and the Netherlands appear on my screen. They were not intended for me so I have ignored them but they could have been for unpublished Community Trade Marks and, if so, such communications should not be available to anyone other than the applicant/representative.

There are problems with replying (on-line) to e-communications with the reply button taking you to a search function rather than a reply sending facility. Again, I believe many have resorted to the 20th Century fax.

Questions are obviously being raised as to how vigourously tested the new system was. OHIM has a reputation for speed and efficiency and for embracing and developing new on-line tools. But here they have been left embarrassed.

Hopefully their techies will get the systems up and running as intended soon.

You would have thought they could have thought of holding off on sending some e-communications in the meantime. Thankfully that should be the case for today at least as it's Constitution Day in Spain today and a national holiday. Let's see what Monday brings.