Common practices of the EUIPO and the member states

Common practices for enhanced transparency, consistency, certainty and predictability

The European Union Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN) is a network consisting of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the national offices in the EU. The EUIPN has created a number of common practices designed to ensure that applications for trade mark and design registration, as well as processing, are consistent across National and Regional IP Offices of the member states and that trade marks can be used after the registration. Common practices are published in Common Communications.

Common Communications have no legally binding effect on the offices of the member states. Instead, they serve as compilations to inform about the understanding reached among the IPOs. Common Communications are compiled on the basis of opinions expressed by the offices. The principles in Common Communications are generally applied. The purpose of Common Communications is to cover the majority of situations. However, the national offices consider each case separately and the principles in Common Communications are used as guidelines.

The PRH has participated in the preparation of the following Common Communications and has for its part approved them.

Harmonisation of the classification practice for goods and services and a common classification database (CP1 and CP2)

In the projects, classification practices were harmonised and TMclass was created. TMclass is a classification database maintained by the EUIPO together with national authorities. The database contains tens of thousands of classification terms (indications of goods and services) in Finnish and Swedish approved by the PRH. The PRH participates in the voting concerning TMclass classification terms and the maintenance and development of the database.

The classification terms approved for TMclass can also be used in the electronic trademark application.

Go to TMclass classification database.

Acceptability of classification terms

Common Communication on the Common Practice on the Acceptability of Classification Terms. The communication contains a set of guidelines that will help you to identify when any classification term is sufficiently clear and precise.

Read the Common Communication on the Common Practice on the Acceptability of Classification Terms, 20 February 2014, on the EUIPO website.

Implementation of ‘IP Translator’

An updated version of the Common Communication on the Implementation of ‘IP Translator’. Tables 3 and 6 in the communication have been updated and are now in line with the changes made on 1 January 2014 in the PRH’s practice on class headings.

Read the Common Communication on the Implementation of ‘IP Translator’ v1.2, 20 February 2014, on the EUIPO website.

Updated version: Common Practice on the General Indications of the Nice Class Headings

An updated version of the Common Communication on the Common Practice on the General Indications of the Nice Class Headings. At the end of the communication there is a new table with an overview of implementation dates of the common practice in different countries.

Read the Common Communication on the Common Practice on the General Indications of the Nice Class Headings v1.1, 20 February 2014, on the EUIPO website.

Common Communication on the Scope of Protection of Black and White (“B&W") Marks (CP4)

The Common Communication concerns the scope of protection of B&W and greyscale marks as regards priority, relative grounds for refusal, and genuine use.

Finland has applied the common practice as of 1 May 2019.

Read the Common Communication on the Scope of Protection of Black and White (“B&W") Marks on the EUIPO website.

Common Communication on the distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks (shape marks) containing verbal and/or figurative elements (CP9)

The Common Communication concerns the distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks (shape marks) containing verbal and/or figurative elements when the shape is not distinctive in itself. The communication establishes a minimum threshold for distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks (shape marks) containing verbal and/or figurative elements when the shape is not distinctive in itself.

This common practice will enter into force in Finland on 1 July 2020.

Read the Common Communication on the distinctiveness of three-dimensional trade marks (shape marks) on the EUIPO website.

Common Communication on the representation of new types of trade marks

The communication includes a compilation of the definitions and means of representation for the different types of trade marks, and the file formats that are used when applying for new types of trade marks and that are approved in different member states.

Trademark legislation has been reformed in the EU, and one of the key changes is that a graphic representation of trade marks is no longer obligatory in applications. This gives rise to the possibility of accepting new types of trade marks, filed in various formats.

The purpose of the communication is to avoid a risk that offices in different countries accept different types of trade marks, apply different definitions and impose different representation requirements.

Read the Common Communication on the representation of new types of trade marks.

Common Communication on the use of a trade mark in a form differing from the one registered (CP8)

The common practice concerns the assessment of the types of changes that can occur in the sign when used in a form differing from the one registered, namely when elements are added, omitted, modified or when these changes appear in combination.

Finland applies the common practice as of 15 January 2021.

Read the Common Communication on the use of a trade mark in a form differing from the one registered on the EUIPO website.

The EUIPO has also published the following Common Communications not approved by the PRH. Nevertheless, the PRH strives to follow the principles presented in these communications whenever possible.

Common Communication on Distinctiveness (CP3)

This Common Communication concerns situations when a figurative mark containing purely descriptive or non-distinctive words is deemed to be distinctive because the figurative element renders the mark as a whole with sufficient distinctive character.

Read the Common Communication on the Common Practice of Distinctiveness – Figurative Marks containing descriptive/non-distinctive words on the EUIPO website.

Common Communication on Relative Grounds of Refusal (CP5)

A Common Communication on the common practice as regards non-distinctive or weak components of marks for the purpose of assessing likelihood of confusion, assuming that the goods and/or services are identical.

Read the Common Communication on the Common Practice of Relative Grounds of Refusal – Likelihood of Confusion (Impact of non-distinctive/weak components) on the EUIPO website.



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Latest update 23.10.2020