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General Court: EU NETWORK rapid manufacturing

In Case T-430/12, Heinrich Beteiligungs GmbH applied for the following sign for classes 6, 7, 12, 17 et 42.

The CTM was registered in spite of observations filed by the EU Commission which then filed for a cancellation action on the grounds of Article 7 (1) c) and h) CTMR.

The Board of Appeal, annulling the decision of the Cancellation Division, cancelled the contested CTM. It found that the mark at issue contained an element which amounted to an "imitation from a heraldic point of view 'of the European flag protected by Article 6 ter of the Paris Convention and, secondly, that the applicant had not demonstrated that it was authorized to use this flag. Thus, it could not be excluded that the public believes there is a link between the activities of the applicant and that of the European Union.

The General Court confirmed that an identical reproduction of the EU flag is not necessary to find that there is an “imitation”. Furthermore, since the products and services fall within the realm of industry under Title XVII of Part Three of the TFEU, or the field of "technological development" under Title XIX of the same part of the TFEU which thus belong to the competence of the EU, it cannot be excluded that the relevant public will believe that the products and services covered by the trade mark in question (e.g.: Technology consulting, scientific and technological services and research and design) receive approval or warranty of the Union or are otherwise related to it.

The General Court dismissed the appeal.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 17.58
Tags: General Court, absolute grounds, EU network rapid manufacturing, EU flag,
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