- General Court interprets Regulation on Community designs in invalidity proceedings (Sanford v EUIPO)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Overall impression on the informed user
- Case details
IP analysis: Avery Zweckform GmbH, an office supplies manufacturer, successfully appealed the decision to reject its original application for a declaration of invalidity in relation to a design for a label roll registered by Sanford LP, a US based manufacturer. Sanford subsequently appealed to the EU General Court. The General Court held that the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Board of Appeal had correctly found that the design in question gave the same overall impression as a previously disclosed design. The court then proceeded to set out a number of considerations when determining whether differences in design are sufficient to produce a different overall impression. The findings will be of particular interest where product design is largely dictated by the industry and application, or where applicants seek to register their designs for protection with reliance on marks of origin to differentiate them from existing designs. Written by Mark Daniels, partner and Gavin Lock, associate at Browne Jacobson LLP.
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