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Common Communications on the practice of EUIPO and EU member states

IP Offices and User Associations have been cooperating to converge examination practices and standards since the European IP Network was established in 2011. Together, they identify areas of trade mark and design practice in which convergence would be most beneficial for network stakeholders, and work to agree on the implementation of common principles based on relevant Court decisions and IP Offices best practices. In doing so, they seek to create a European IP system that is more efficient, predictable and accessible to its stakeholders. So far, work on common practices has been carried out in two waves: one before the Trade Mark Legal Reform and one after.

The first wave, which took place from 2011-2016, consisted of seven convergence initiatives.

Following adoption of the Trade Mark Reform package in December 2015, convergence took on greater importance within the range of tasks performed by IP Offices. The convergence of practices became a core task for IP Offices, and as a result, a specific European cooperation project (ECP4 Convergence Analysis) was launched with the aim of identifying new areas where common principles were needed.

Additional convergence initiatives are currently under way within the second wave.

Practices