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25 June 2012
A new act governing the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) will come into force on January 1 2013. Among other things, the act implements changes both to the organisation of the Board of Appeal and to oral procedures, and allows legal costs to be awarded during administrative review.
The Board of Appeal will be independent from the NIPO and organised under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The board replaces the existing second instance procedure, which is currently a part of the NIPO. The new organisation will ensure an independent review of decisions that are appealed from the NIPO.
Both the NIPO and the Board of Appeal may summon parties to oral proceedings where they deem this necessary. Oral proceedings may be held during the prosecution of applications, in opposition and appeal proceedings and in proceedings for administrative review. Currently, oral proceedings are normally held only upon a party's request. A party to the proceedings may still request oral proceedings under the new act, but a justifiable basis for the request must be provided.
The act also allows the NIPO and the Board of Appeal to award legal costs in favour of a fully successful party for cases involving administrative review. Administrative review proceedings are intended to be a simple and reasonable alternative to court proceedings, and only reasonable costs that are needed to attend to the interests of the parties involved may be awarded.
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