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Within the context of the Convergence Programme, the national and regional IP offices of the European Trade Mark and Design Network (EuropeanTmdn) have agreed on a Common Practice in relation to the level of acceptance on absolute grounds of a figurative mark containing purely descriptive/non-distinctive words, or in other terms a mark consisting of purely descriptive/non-distinctive words to which a figurative element has been added.

This project, in the same line as the one concerning Black & White marks, was initiated by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal market (OHIM) in order to try to overcome the divergence of criteria among the IP offices in the European Union and the OHIM.

A Notice on the Common Communication on the Common Practice of Distinctiveness – Figurative Marks containing descriptive/non-distinctive words has recently been published, along with explanations to the (FAQ) on Common Practice CP 3. Distinctiveness – Figurative Marks containing descriptive/non-distinctive words. You can access these documents at


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