Common practice of the protection of black and white marks

The European Trade Mark and Design Network are looking at common practice on the scope of protection of black and white trade marks.



The European Trade Mark and Design Network is an initiative to reduce the differences in practices between the national offices and also the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. The network provides different options for protecting trade mark and design rights within the EU.

The network has three strands of activity.

  1. Convergence of IT tools through the Cooperation Fund
  2. Voluntary convergence of practice via a Convergence Programme
  3. A move to further harmonise legislation which is being led by the European Commission

The convergence work on determining identity/similarity between colour and black-and-white versions of the same mark falls into the second category. It considers how colour affects identity in the context of likelihood of confusion, claims to priority, and proof of use. The conclusions drawn from this convergence work are set out in the Common Communication document.