Although Dharmakīrti often uses the term sāmānya in his texts, he uses the term sāmānyalakṣaṇa only ten times. This shows that Dharmakīrti clearly uses sāmānyalakṣaṇa and sāmānya in a different sense.
In the Pramāṇavārttikasvavṛtti, sāmānyalakṣaṇa indicates the shape appearing in a conception and it is a universal shape which does not produce any effect. Many of the natures of sāmānyalakṣaṇa discussed in chapter 3 of the Pramāṇavārttika are understood as the nature of the shape appearing in a conception. Therefore after sāmānyalakṣaṇa is defined as the shape in a conception in the Pramāṇavārttikasvavṛtti, its nature is indicated by comparing them one by one with svalakṣaṇa in chapter 3 of the Pramāṇavārttika.