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November 20, 2013 EU Intellectual Property Network

Common Communication on the Common Practice on the General Indications of the Nice Class Headings

The publication of the IP Translator judgment in June 2012, led EU IP offices, IPI (Switzerland), NIPO (Norway), participating user associations, and OHIM, to discuss at length the interpretation of the Nice Class headings and the acceptability of general indications of the Nice Class headings.

Following the release of the Common Communication on the Interpretation of the ‘IP Translator', EU IP offices, OHIM and NIPO today have published on their respective websites a second Common Communication on the Common Practice of the General Indications of the Nice Class Headings.

This subsequent Common Communication provides users and offices alike with a list of 11 general indications which lack clarity and precision, and consequently cannot be accepted without further specification. The Communication also details the reasons why each of these unacceptable general indications were deemed insufficiently clear and precise.

This new practice has been reflected in OHIM's Manual on Trade Mark Practice and will enter into force when OHIM launches its new website and new e-filing tool.

An updated Common Communication on Interpretation of ‘IP Translator' has been published on the websites of EU IP offices and OHIM. It shows how each trade mark office interprets the scope of protection of their national trade marks and of Community Trade marks containing all general indications of one or more class, filed before and after the judgment, with the details displayed using an overview composed of six annexes.

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