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Atlas transports: mind the ..culture gap!
In Case T-145/08 which opposed Atlas Transport GmbH to Atlas Air, Inc., the Court dealt with peculiar procedural matters. The facts are as follows: the Cancellation division in 2007 annulled the contested CTM on the basis of, among others, an earlier Benelux right.
The CTM Applicant brought an appeal claiming that nullity proceedings relating to the earlier Benelux mark had been filed before the Court of Hague and stated ‘that it wished to contest the use of the earlier right but does not want to burden OHIM with voluminous documents and refers to evidence sent for a prior separate case in 2005’ and further declared ‘since the procedure will now be suspended, we refrain from submitting any further observations other than the previous owner suffered a gross injustice, which goes against natural justice’.
The Court rejected the arguments of the Applicant which claimed that OHIM being a multinational administration, the European legislator had always strived to draft the formalities to a minimum and organize the procedure in a “simple and friendly” manner. The GC held that the CTMR could not be interpreted, because of its legal-cultural differences in communicating with the Office, as absolving the Appellant from filing actual statement of grounds of appeal with a minimum of explanation on why it wishes to reform the contested decision; furthermore, the filing of the writ of summons before the Court of Hague is insufficient to demonstrate there is an actual pending procedure before the Court of Hague to suspend automatically the appeal procedure before OHIM and anyways the contested decision was based in part on the contested Benelux right, in part on other earlier rights.Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 14.00
Tags: General court, OHIM practice,
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