Update of the OHIM Guidelines

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On 1 August 2015, the second part of OHIM's (Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market) updated Guidelines entered into force.

Since 2013, the Knowledge Circles of OHIM which involves staff from different departments and the Boards of Appeal (BoAs), started uniting the Manuals of trademarks and design practices and “official” Guidelines into a single set of published Guidelines.

These Guidelines reflect the practice of the office in the most frequent scenarios. Therefore, they are the main point of reference for users of the Community Trademark system. But, the Guidelines are not legislative texts and therefore they are not binding.

To increase consistency and predictability for the users, the Knowledge Circles has to revise the Guidelines in a cyclical process. The modifications are based on the current case-law from the BoAs and the Court of Justice, the operational needs of the OHIM and the outcome of the various convergence projects, such as the harmonization of classification project. Finally, the Knowledges Circles also can consider the feedback of the national and regional IP offices.

For the first update process the guidelines were divided in two parts. The first half of the updated Guidelines was adopted in December 2013 and entered into force in February 2014. The second half was adopted in July 2015 by the President of the OHIM on 8 July 2015 (Decision EX-15-2) and entered into force in August 2015.

The corresponding documents are available on the website's current trademark practice page and the current designs practice page.