CP4 – Scope of Protection of Black and White (B&W) Marks

In the framework of the European Trade Mark and Design Network EUIPO and the implementing IP Offices have agreed on a Common Practice with regard to black and white (B&W) or greyscale marks as compared with coloured versions of the same mark.


The participating offices closely analysed three important questions essential to handling trade marks in B&W and/or greyscale:

  • Is a trade mark in B&W and/or greyscale from which priority is claimed identical to the same mark in colour?
  • Is an earlier trade mark in B&W and/or greyscale identical to the same mark in colour when assessing relative grounds?
  • Is the use of a colour version of a trade mark registered in B&W/greyscale (or vice-versa) acceptable for the purpose of establishing genuine use?

The answers to these questions can be found in the common practice document, which was published in all websites of all implementing offices through a Common Communication on 15 April 2014.

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