Elimination of Graphical Representation Requirement

Graphical Representation - Types of mark

The graphical representation requirement no longer applies when submitting a trade mark application as and from 1 October 2017. This means that, from that date, signs can be represented in any appropriate form using generally available technology, as long as the representation is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective.

The result is a ‘what you see is what you get’ system, which aspires to make the trade mark entries on the EUTM Register clearer, more accessible and easier to search for.

Article 3 of the EU trade mark Implementing Regulation (EUTMIR) lays down specific rules and requirements for the representation of some of the most popular types of trade mark, including some technical requirements, in accordance with the specific nature and attributes of the trade mark in question.

The objective is to increase legal certainty for users and reduce the objection rate for formality objections.

The following table contains a list of the most popular types of trade mark, their representation, whether a description is required and the format accepted by EUIPO when filing a trade mark on or after 1 October 2017.

Type of trade mark Description required? Format required
Word No N/A Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting exclusively of words or letters, numerals, other standard typographic characters or a combination thereof …’

Representation

Reproduction of the sign in standard script and layout, without any graphic feature or colour.

Figurative No JPEG Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark where non-standard characters, stylisation or layout, or a graphic feature or a colour are used, including marks that consist exclusively of figurative elements or of a combination of verbal and figurative elements …’

Representation

Change in EUIPO practice — colour claims are no longer possible, the representation must contain the colours, where applicable, and all the elements of the sign.

Shape No JPEG OBJ STL X3D Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark ‘consisting of, or extending to, a three-dimensional shape, including containers, packaging, the product itself or their appearance …’ The term ‘extending to’ means that the mark may cover not only shapes per se, but also shapes that contain word or figurative elements, labels, etc.

Representation

‘…a graphic reproduction of the shape, including computer-generated imaging, or a photographic reproduction.’ The graphic or photographic reproduction may contain different views, up to six when not provided electronically…’ If the electronic representation is not by means of a computer-generated image, it may consist of up to six views that must be submitted in one single JPEG file.

Position Optional (previously mandatory) JPEG Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting of the specific way in which the mark is placed or affixed on the product …’.

Representation

‘..a reproduction which appropriately identifies the position of the mark and its size or proportion with respect to the relevant goods’.
Elements that do not form part of the subject matter of the registration ‘shall be visually disclaimed preferably by broken or dotted lines.’

Pattern Optional JPEG Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting exclusively of a set of elements which are repeated regularly…’

Representation

Representation requires ‘a reproduction showing the pattern of repetition.’

Colour (single) No JPEG Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting exclusively of a single colour without contours …’

Representation

‘A reproduction of the colour and an indication of that colour by a reference to a generally recognised colour code.’
Change in practice — currently a colour code is not obligatory.

Colour (combination) Optional (previously mandatory) JPEG Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting exclusively of a combination of colours without contours …’

Representation

A reproduction of the colour combination that shows the systematic arrangement of the colour combination in a uniform and predetermined manner and an indication of those colours by a reference to a generally recognised colour code.’
Change in practice — currently a colour code is not obligatory

Sound No JPEG MP3 (max 2 Mb) Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting exclusively of a sound or combination of sounds…’

Representation

‘…by submitting an audio file reproducing the sound or by an accurate representation of the sound in musical notation.’
Change in practice — current requirements are: (i) musical notation (with optional sound file) or (ii) a sonograph, which must be accompanied by a sound file.

Motion Optional (previously mandatory) JPEG MP4 (max 20 Mb) Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting of, or extending to, a movement or a change in the position of the elements of the mark…’

Representation

‘A video file showing the movement or change of position, or a series of still sequential images showing the movement, which may be numbered.’ Where still images are used, they may be numbered or accompanied by a description explaining the sequence

Multimedia No MP4 (max 20 Mb) Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark ‘consisting of, or extending to, the combination of image and sound …’

Representation

‘…an audio-visual file containing the combination of the image and the sound’.

Hologram No JPEG MP4 (max 20 Mb) Show Hide

Definition

‘…a trade mark consisting of elements with holographic characteristics …’

Representation

‘…a video file or a graphic or photographic reproduction containing the views which are necessary to sufficiently identify the holographic effect in its entirety.’

As and from 1 October 2017, there will be three main areas of change. Click on each section to get full details:

The contents of this section are for general information and awareness of the EU trade mark regulation. They are not legally binding.
We strongly recommend that all users or potential users refer to Regulation (EU) No 2015/2424, available in all EU languages.
Please note that the Office’s Guidelines remain the main point of reference for users of the European Union trade mark system and professional advisers who want to make sure that they have the latest information on EUIPO’s examination practices.

Information relating to the changes which entered into force on 23 March 2016 can be found here.

Page last updated 21-09-2017