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Manual on Types of Marks and Distinctiveness of Trade Marks in Absolute Grounds in (selected) CARIFORUM IP Offices

On 17 April 2023, the CARIFORUM Intellectual Property and Innovation Project (CarIPI) published a manual on Types of Marks and Distinctiveness of Trade Marks as a result of the joint efforts of the Intellectual Property Offices and Registries of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The manual provides guidance for trade mark applicants and examiners on types of marks and assessing the distinctiveness of trade marks in the examination of absolute grounds. This will generally be applied by the subscribing CARIFORUM IP rights offices.

The manual aims to increase transparency, legal certainty and predictability for the benefit of the different IP offices’ users and examiners. It also aims to become a reference for these stakeholders and any other interested parties.

This great achievement has been made possible thanks to the cooperation between the CARIFORUM IP offices under CarIPI. They analysed types of marks and criteria for assessing the distinctive character of trade marks in absolute grounds examination.

Access the manual in English and Spanish here:


CarIPI is an international cooperation project funded by the European Union and implemented by the EUIPO. It was set up to strengthen the intellectual property rights environment in the CARIFORUM territories, foster trade and investment and to stimulate innovation and competitiveness in the private sector. It is the ‘innovation and intellectual property rights’ component of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) support programme.

CarIPI aims to contribute to achieving the objectives and expected benefits of the EPA. In this way, it lays the foundations for a sustainable long-term regional framework and cooperation in the field of intellectual property.

Since its inception in November 2019, CarIPI has worked towards supporting the CARIFORUM States in implementing EPA commitments. It has also facilitated knowledge sharing on how IP rights systems can better respond to the needs of small medium-sized enterprises so they can do business globally while safeguarding their IP rights. The project will run until 30 April 2024.


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