Language of document : ECLI:EU:T:2018:115

ORDER OF THE GENERAL COURT (Second Chamber)

23 February 2018  (*)

(EU trade mark — Action for annulment — Time-limit allowed for bringing proceedings — Out of time — Manifest inadmissibility)

In Case T-794/17,

The Green Effort Ltd, established in London (United Kingdom), represented by A. Ziehm and A. Kaspereit, lawyers,

applicant,

v

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO),

defendant,

the other party to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO being

Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, established in Vernier (Switzerland),


Action brought against the decision of the Second Board of Appeal of the EUIPO of 11 September 2017 (case R 1827/2016-2), relating to cancellation proceedings between Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and The Green Effort Ltd.

THE GENERAL COURT (Second Chamber),

composed of M. Prek (Rapporteur), President, E. Buttigieg and B. Berke, Judges,

Registrar: E. Coulon,

makes the following

Order

 Procedure and form of order sought by the applicant

1        By decision of 11 September 2017 (Case R 1827/2016 – 2) relating to cancellation proceedings between Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and The Green Effort Ltd, the Second Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) confirmed the decision of the Cancellation Division of EUIPO of 8 September 2016 and dismissed the appeal. The applicant was notified of the contested decision on 19 September 2017.

2        The applicant brought the present action by application lodged at the General Court Registry on 4 December 2017.

3        The applicant claims that the General Court should:

–        annul the contested decision;

–        annul the decision of the Cancellation Division of 8 September 2016 (cancellation No 12701 C);

–        cancel the revocation of the registered European Union trade mark No 9 528 001;

–        reject the application for revocation of rights;

–        grant its application for ‘Restitution in integrum’;

–        obtain and refer to the documents in the EUIPO cancellation proceedings 12343 C, 10757 C, 10524 C, opposition proceedings B 002165119, B 002199274, B 002344565, B 002367038, B 002513086 and B 002513151;

–        order EUIPO and the cancellation applicant to pay their own costs and those of the applicant.

 Law

4        Under Article 126 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court, where the action is manifestly inadmissible, the General Court may decide to give a decision by reasoned order without taking further steps in the proceedings.

5        In the present case, the General Court considers that it has sufficient information available to it from the material in the file and has decided, pursuant to that article, to give a decision without taking further steps in the proceedings.

6        Article 65(5) of Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 of the Council of 26 February 2009 on the European Union trade mark (OJ 2009 L 78, p. 1) [now Article 72(5) of Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 on the European Union trade mark (JO 2017, L 154, p 1)] provides that an action against a decision of a Board of Appeal of EUIPO must be brought within two months of the date of notification of that decision. In accordance with Article 60 of the Rules of Procedure, that time-limit must be extended on account of distance by a single period of 10 days.

7        According to settled case-law, that time-limit for bringing proceedings is a matter of public policy, it having been established in order to ensure that legal positions are clear and certain and to avoid any discrimination or arbitrary treatment in the administration of justice, and the Court must ascertain of its own motion whether that time-limit was observed (judgments of 23 January 1997 in Coen, C‑246/95, EU:C:1997:33, paragraph 21, and of 18 September 1997 in Mutual Aid Administration Services v Commission, T‑121/96 and T‑151/96, EU:T:1997:132, paragraphs 38 and 39).

8        In the present case, it is apparent from the documents in the file that the contested decision was notified to the applicant on 19 September 2017.

9        It follows from the rules for calculating the time-limits, set out in Article 58 of the Rules of Procedure, account being taken of the extension of 10 days on account of distance, that the period for bringing an action expired on 29 November 2017.

10      Consequently, given that the application was lodged at the General Court Registry on 4 December 2017, it must be concluded that the application was lodged after the expiry of the period for bringing an action.

11      In addition, the applicant has not established or even pleaded the existence of unforeseeable circumstances or of force majeure which would allow the Court to vary the time-limit in question on the basis of the second paragraph of Article 45 of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which applies to the procedure before the General Court by virtue of Article 53 thereof.

12      It follows from all of the above considerations that the action must be dismissed as manifestly inadmissible and there is no need for it to be served on the EUIPO.

 Costs

13      As the present order was adopted prior to service of the application on the defendant and before the latter could have incurred costs, it is sufficient to decide that the applicant must bear its own costs pursuant to Article 133 of the Rules of Procedure.

On those grounds,

THE GENERAL COURT (Second Chamber)

hereby orders:

1.      The action is dismissed.

2.      The Green Effort Ltd shall bear its own costs.

Luxembourg, 23 February 2018.

E. Coulon

 

 M. Prek

Registrar

 

President


* Language of the case: English.