Visit of the EUIPO Boards of Appeal Delegation to the Office
On September 16, 2022, the State Intellectual Property Office was visited by a delegation of Boards of Appeal operating at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The delegation was led by Mr. João Negrão, President of the Boards of Appeal, and Mr. Gordon Humphreys, Chairperson of the First and Third Boards of Appeal, Mr. Sven Stürmann, Chairperson of the Second Board of Appeal, and Ms. Natalia Kapetanaki, representative of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service at the EUIPO Board of Appeal, participated in the expert visit.
The first part of the expert meeting was intended to present the work and legal practice of the Boards of Appeal to representatives of Croatian courts responsible for cases in the field of intellectual property, representatives in the field of industrial property rights and experts of the State Intellectual Property Office. In the introductory part of the expert meeting, the Director General of the State Intellectual Property Office, Ljiljana Kuterovac M.Sc., addressed the participants with welcoming words, and then the representatives of the Boards of Appeal gave their presentations.
Boards of Appeal decide on appeals against first-instance decisions made by the EUIPO in procedures for the registration of European Union trademarks and Community designs. They were established as an independent body, and consist of four boards that deal exclusively with appeals filed in cases for the registration of European Union trademarks and one board that resolves appeals in the field of Community designs. In addition, the organizational structure of the Boards of Appeal includes the Grand Board of Appeal, which can make decisions in both areas (trademark and design), and its decisions are binding for all five Boards of Appeal as well as for all first-instance divisions of the EUIPO, thus ensuring consistency in acting and making decisions.
The participants of the expert meeting were presented with cases from the legal practice of the Boards of Appeal, and an expert discussion on certain issues of the procedure was induced. The importance of the uniform application of European Union law was emphasised both in the work of the responsible divisions of the EUIPO and the Boards of Appeal, as well as before the responsible national authorities and courts of the Member States of the European Union, so one of the most important initiatives was the regular publication of the decisions of the Boards of Appeal, which are available in the published publications on the official pages of the Boards of Appeal. It is also useful to refer to the database for searching legal practice in the field of intellectual property rights (eSearch Case Law), which includes a selection of first-instance decisions of the EUIPO and decisions of the Boards of Appeal, judgments of the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as more significant judgments of national courts of the European Union Member States. More detailed instructions for searching the database are available here.
The Boards of Appeal Action Plan – 2021/2026 was also briefly presented, and it was emphasised that in the upcoming period they will persist in further improving the work of the Boards of Appeal in order to be able to deal with increasingly complex appeal cases, with appropriate transparency in their work and consistency in decision-making, following the judicial practice determined by the judgments of the General Court and the Court of the European Union.
As one of the more important goals, the wider use of alternative dispute resolution methods (Alternative Dispute Resolution), which provide the parties with appropriate mechanisms and tools to find professional and quick solutions for the amicable resolution of disputes, was highlighted as an additional means of supporting users of the protection system, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. In this way, in the process of mediation, conciliation and other procedures of alternative dispute resolution, it is possible to achieve dispute resolution with significantly less costs for the parties, with the possibility of resolving disputes with a cross-border element and reducing the need to conduct a larger number of lawsuits before national courts, which at the same time opens the door to preservation of business relations and cooperation between the parties in dispute. More about alternative dispute resolution before the EUIPO Boards of Appeal is available here.
In continuation of the professional visit of the representatives of the Boards of Appeal to the Office, a bilateral meeting was held with the representatives of the Office, where topics of mutual interest were discussed, especially the possibility of further development of cooperation between the national offices responsible for intellectual property and the Boards of Appeal of the EUIPO.
Datum novosti: 26.9.2022.