We have the impression that EUIPO has become more and more critical when it comes to accepting trademarks. We have experienced this already with logos consisting of a descriptive words. And now, word combinations must be quite distinctive; the somewhat allusive combinations are rejected.
A recent example of a word combination that would previously have been accepted (in our opinion) is the KING BURGER trademark from Burger King. This company had filed the KING BURGER in the European Union for hamburgers and encountered a refusal of this trademark. The EUIPO is of the opinion that this trademark has an obvious promotional laudatory meaning.
Burger King appealed this decision and claimed that KING was referring to certain qualities, but is not descriptive. Moreover, everyone can understand that KING BURGER refers to the very distinctive BURGER KING. Finally, numerous brands with KING were accepted by the EUIPO, for example the trademark KING RIB.