Guidelines on refusals

These guidelines explain the criteria for examining trademarks on absolute grounds and the way in which the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) applies them in practice. These guidelines are by no means exhaustive and the examples provided are intended merely to illustrate the way in which the legal terms are applied. The main purpose of the Guidelines is to inform the user and to enable interested parties to better predict the decisions rendered by BOIP.

These guidelines are by no means exhaustive and the examples provided are intended merely to illustrate the way in which the legal terms are applied. It should also be noted that practical experience since 1996 has shown that examination on absolute grounds is a dynamic field of law, in which the highest courts of law tighten up and refine the law on a fairly regular basis. Moreover, under the influence of communications technology, the media and the Internet in particular, language is evolving very quickly, knowledge of languages is increasing and “new” designations are catching on very quickly among the public at large. BOIP will continually adapt its day-to-day practices and, from time to time, these Guidelines, to take account of these developments.

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