Language of document : ECLI:EU:T:2017:466

Provisional text

JUDGMENT OF THE GENERAL COURT (First Chamber)

5 July 2017 (*)

(Community design — Invalidity proceedings — Registered Community design representing a door handle — Earlier design — Ground for invalidity — No individual character — Degree of freedom of the designer — No different overall impression — Article 6 and Article 25(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 — Evidence submitted in support of the opposition after the expiry of the prescribed period — Production of evidence for the first time before the Board of Appeal — Discretion of the Board of Appeal — Article 63 of Regulation No 6/2002)

In Case T‑306/16,

Gamet S.A., established in Toruń (Poland), represented by A. Rolbiecka, lawyer,

applicant,

v

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), represented by J. Ivanauskas, acting as Agent,

defendant,

the other party to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal of EUIPO, intervener before the General Court, being

Firma produkcyjno-handlowa ‘Metal-Bud II’ Robert Gubała, established in Świątniki Górne (Poland), represented by M. Mikosza, lawyer,

ACTION brought against the decision of the Third Board of Appeal of EUIPO of 17 March 2016 (Case R 2040/2014-3), relating to invalidity proceedings between Firma produkcyjno-handlowa ‘Metal-Bud II’ Robert Gubała and Gamet,

THE GENERAL COURT (First Chamber),

composed of I. Pelikánová, President, V. Valančius (Rapporteur) and U. Öberg, Judges,

Registrar: E. Coulon,

having regard to the application lodged at the Court Registry on 13 June 2016,

having regard to the response of EUIPO lodged at the Court Registry on 28 July 2016,

having regard to the response of the intervener lodged at the Court Registry on 24 August 2016,

having regard to the fact that no application for a hearing was submitted by the parties within the period of three weeks from notification of closure of the written procedure, and having therefore decided to rule on the action without an oral procedure, pursuant to Article 106(3) of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court,

gives the following

Judgment

 Background to the dispute

1        On 24 March 2013, the applicant, Gamet S.A., obtained from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), on the basis of Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 on Community designs (OJ 2002 L 3, p. 1) registration under number 2208066-0001 of a Community design represented as follows:

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2        The contested design is intended to be applied to ‘handles, knobs and hinges’ in Class 08-06 of the Locarno Agreement establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs of 8 October 1968, as amended.

3        On 19 August 2013, the intervener, Firma produkcyjno-handlowa ‘Metal-Bud II’ Robert Gubała, filed an application for a declaration that the contested Community design was invalid, pursuant to Article 52 of Regulation No 6/2002.

4        The ground relied on in support of the application for a declaration of invalidity was that referred to in Article 25(1)(b) of Regulation No 6/2002. In the application for a declaration of invalidity, the intervener contended that the contested design was not new and that it lacked individual character for the purposes of Article 4 of Regulation No 6/2002, read in conjunction with Articles 5 and 6 thereof.

5        In support of its application for a declaration of invalidity, the intervener relied, inter alia, on a design earlier than the contested design, represented by the ‘DORA’ door handle (‘the DORA handle’). To demonstrate the existence of that design and the fact that it had been made available to the public, it produced, inter alia, extracts from catalogues and websites containing the following illustrations, which compare the DORA handle with the contested design:

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Front view