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Notice of 1 April 2020

concerning European cooperation in the field of trade mark law – harmonisation of the practice regarding the distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks containing other elements

Within the context of what are known as convergence programmes, the trade mark offices of the EU member states and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have been making considerable efforts since 2012 to achieve effective harmonisation of their decision-making practices. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has been actively involved in almost all convergence projects, also in the interest of our German users. The purpose of the convergence programmes is to ensure transparency, legal certainty and predictability of the decision-making practice. A further convergence project in the trade mark sector has now been completed; the principles of the common practice developed in this project will take effect on 1 April 2020. The project concerns the distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks (shape marks) containing verbal elements and/or figurative elements when the shape is not distinctive in itself.

Detailed information, explanations and examples are provided in the principles of the common practice. A summary of the main results including examples is available in the pdf-Datei Common Communication (9,57 MB).

The common practice and the guidelines will be implemented by the DPMA as of 1 April 2020. The result of this project complies with our previous practice so that in practice there will be no change for our customers.

Further information is also available at https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/european-cooperation.

Last updated: 2 April 2020 

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