IP case law Court of Justice

Order of 9 Jul 2020, C-193/20 (Dekoback v EUIPO)



ORDER OF THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COURT

9 July 2020 (*)

(Appeal — EU trade mark — Determination as to whether appeals should be allowed to proceed — Article 170a(2) and (3) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice — Formal requirements relating to the request that the appeal be allowed to proceed — Failure to put in order — Inadmissibility)

In Case C-193/20 P,

APPEAL under Article 56 of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, brought on 6 May 2020,

Dekoback GmbH, established in Helmstadt-Bargen (Germany), represented by V. von Moers, Rechtsanwalt,

applicant,

the other party to the proceedings being:

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO),

defendant at first instance,

THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COURT,

having regard to the proposal from K. Jürimäe, Judge-Rapporteur,

after hearing the Advocate General, M. Szpunar,

makes the following

Order

1        By its appeal, Dekoback GmbH asks the Court of Justice to set aside the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 5 March 2020, Dekoback v EUIPO — DecoPac (DECOPAC) (T-80/19, not published, EU:T:2020:81), by which the General Court dismissed its action for annulment of the decision of the Fifth Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) of 26 November 2018 (Case R 1795/2017-5), concerning revocation proceedings between Dekoback and DecoPac Inc.

2        Under the first paragraph of Article 58a of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, an appeal brought against a decision of the General Court concerning a decision of an independent Board of Appeal of EUIPO is not to proceed unless the Court of Justice first decides that it should be allowed to do so.

3        Article 170a(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice provides that, in the situations referred to in the first paragraph of Article 58a of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the appellant is to annex to the appeal a request that the appeal be allowed to proceed, setting out the issue raised by the appeal that is significant with respect to the unity, consistency or development of EU law and containing all the information necessary to enable the Court of Justice to rule on that request.

4        Article 170a(2) adds that the request that the appeal be allowed to proceed must not exceed seven pages and is to be drawn up taking into account all the formal requirements contained in the Practice Directions to parties concerning cases brought before the Court (OJ 2020 L 42 I, p. 1; ‘the Practice Directions’), adopted on the basis of the Rules of Procedure.

5        Points 39 and 40 of the Practice Directions set out in detail certain requirements which written pleadings and observations lodged before the Court must satisfy in order to facilitate the reading and processing of those documents by the Court, in particular by electronic means.

6        Those requirements concern the form and the presentation of procedural documents as well as their length and structure. The second indent of point 40 states that the text is to be in a commonly used font, such as Times New Roman, Courier or Arial, in at least 12 point in the body of the text and at least 10 point in the footnotes, with 1.5 line spacing and horizontal and vertical margins of at least 2.5 cm above, below, at the left and at the right of the page.

7        Article 170a(3) of the Rules of Procedure provides, lastly, that, if the request that the appeal be allowed to proceed does not comply with the requirements set out in paragraph (2) of that provision, the Registrar is to prescribe a reasonable time limit within which the appellant is to put the request in order. If the appellant fails to put the request in order within the time limit prescribed, the Vice-President of the Court is to decide, on a proposal from the Judge-Rapporteur and after hearing the Advocate General, whether the non-compliance with that formal requirement renders the appeal formally inadmissible.

8        In the present case, the appeal falls within the scope of Article 58a of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

9        In support of its appeal, the appellant lodged at the Court Registry, on 6 May 2020, a request that the appeal be allowed to proceed which did not comply with certain formal requirements set out in the Practice Directions. In particular, the text of that six-page request was with less than 1.5 line spacing. Furthermore, there was a risk that, when put in the correct format, the text would exceed the seven-page limit laid down in Article 170a(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

10      By letter of 8 May 2020, the Court Registry informed the appellant that its request that the appeal be allowed to proceed did not comply with those requirements and, pursuant to Article 170a(3) of the Rules of Procedure, asked the appellant to put in order its request, in line with the requirements set out in point 40 of the Practice Directions, by no later than 15 May 2020.

11      No steps to put in order the request were taken within the time limit prescribed.

12      In those circumstances, since the formal requirements set out in Article 170a(2) of the Rules of Procedure have not been complied with and the appellant has not put in order within the time limit prescribed its request that the appeal be allowed to proceed, the appeal must be declared inadmissible under Article 170a(3) of the Rules of Procedure.

 Costs

13      Under Article 137 of the Rules of Procedure, applicable to proceedings on appeal pursuant to Article 184(1) of those rules, a decision as to costs is to be given in the order which closes the proceedings.

14      Since the present order was adopted before the appeal was served on the other party to the proceedings and, therefore, before it could have incurred costs, it is appropriate to decide that the appellant is to bear its own costs.

On those grounds, the Vice-President of the Court hereby orders:

1.      The appeal is dismissed as inadmissible.


2.      Dekoback GmbH shall bear its own costs.

Luxembourg, 9 July 2020.

A. Calot Escobar

 

R. Silva de Lapuerta

Registrar

 

Vice-President

*      Language of the case: English.



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