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Current trade mark practice

On this page you will find the EUIPO's current trade mark practice reflected in a series of Guidelines that are intended to help both our users and our staff in charge of the various procedures.

The EUIPO Guidelines are the main point of reference for users of the European Union trade mark system and professional advisers who want to make sure they have the latest information on our examination practices.

They have been drawn up to reflect our Office practice in the most frequent scenarios. They contain general instructions, which have to be adapted to the particularities of a case. They are not legislative texts and, therefore, they are not binding.

The table below presents the Guidelines adopted by the Executive Director on 22/09/2017 (Decision EX-17-1), which entered into force on 01/10/2017.

All these texts can be accessed in the five working languages of the Office (English, French, German, Spanish and Italian), through either clean or track-changed versions. All changes made since the last text adopted appear in another colour so our users can easily see what has been updated.

The Office issues a revision of the Guidelines on a yearly basis

The current Guidelines are only available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. For the time being, only the sets of Guidelines that entered into force in 2014 are available in the other EU languages. In the first half of 2018, the last version of the Guidelines adopted, as shown below, will be made available in all EU languages.

Additionally, when some documents have been modified since the adoption of the decisions because a change of practice entered into force, they can be found under the column ‘Most recent changes'.

For previous versions of the Guidelines, please follow the links at the bottom of this page.

Sections Most recent changes Date entry into force Track-changed version (comparison between the two last adopted versions)

Editor's note and general introduction

  01.10.2017 PDF
Part A: General rules      

Section 1: Means of communication, time limits

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 2: General principles to be respected in the proceedings

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 3: Payment of fees, costs and charges

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 4: Language of proceedings

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 5: Professional representation

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 6: Revocation of decisions, cancellation of entries in the register and correction of errors

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 7: Revision

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 8: Restitutio in integrum

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 9: Enlargement

  01.10.2017 PDF
Part B: Examination      

Section 1: Proceedings

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 2: Formalities

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 3: Classification

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 4: Absolute grounds for refusal

     

Chapter 1: General principles

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 2: EUTM definition (Article 7(1)(a) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 3: Non-Distinctive trade marks (Article 7(1)(b) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 4: Descriptive trade marks (Article 7(1)(c) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 5: Customary signs or indications (Article 7(1)(d) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 6: Shapes or other characteristics with an essentially technical function, substantial value or resulting from the nature of goods (Article 7(1)(e) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 7: Trade marks contrary to public policy or acceptable principles of morality (Article 7(1)(f) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 8: Deceptive trade marks (Article 7(1)(g) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 9: Trade marks in conflict with flags and other symbols (Article 7(1)(h) and (i) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 10: Trade marks in conflict with designations of origin and geographical indications (Article 7(1)(j) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 11: Trade marks in conflict with traditional terms for wines (Article 7(1)(k) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 12: Trade marks in conflict with traditional specialities guaranteed (Article 7(1)(l) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 13: Trade marks in conflict with earlier plant variety denominations (Article 7(1)(m) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 14: Acquired distinctiveness through use (Article 7(3) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 15: European Union Collective marks

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 16: European Union Certification marks

  01.10.2017 PDF
Part C: Opposition      

Section 0: Introduction

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 1: Procedural matters

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 2: Double identity and likelihood of confusion

     

Chapter 1: General principles

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 2: Comparison of goods and services

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 3: Relevant public and degree of attention

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 4: Comparison of signs

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 5: Distinctiveness of the earlier mark

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 6: Other factors

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 7: Global assessment

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 3: Unauthorised filing by agents of the TM proprietor (Article 8(3) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 4: Rights under Articles 8(4) and 8(6) EUTMR

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 5: Trade marks with reputation (Article 8(5) EUTMR)

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 6: Proof of use

  01.10.2017 PDF
Part D: Cancellation      

Section 1: Cancellation proceedings

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 2: Substantive provisions

  01.10.2017 PDF
Part E: Register Operations      

Section 1: Changes in a registration

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 2: Conversion

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 3: EUTMs as objects of property

     

Chapter 1: Transfer

  01.10.2017 PDF

Chapter 2: Licences, Rights in rem, Levies of execution, Insolvency proceedings or similar proceedings

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 4: Renewal

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 5: Inspection of files

  01.10.2017 PDF

Section 6: Other entries in the register

     

Chapter 1: Counterclaims

  01.10.2017 PDF
Part M: International marks   01.10.2017 PDF

 

 

Previous versions

Date of entry into force

1, 2017

01.02.2017

2, 2016

01.08.2016

Legal Reform

23.03.2016

1, 2016

01.02.2016

2, 2015

01.08.2015

1, 2015

01.02.2015

2, 2014

01.08.2014

1, 2014

01.02.2014

Page last updated 22-11-2017