JUDGMENT OF THE GENERAL COURT (Fifth Chamber)

27 February 2020 (*)

(Community design — Invalidity proceedings — Registered Community design representing an item of furniture — Ground for invalidity — No individual character — Disclosure of the earlier design — Proof of disclosure — Article 7 and Article 25(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 6/2002)

In Case T‑159/19,

Bog-Fran sp. z o.o. sp.k., established in Warsaw (Poland), represented by M. Mikosza, lawyer,

applicant,

v

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), represented by D. Gája and H. O’Neill, acting as Agents,

defendant,

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

Fabryki Mebli “Forte” S.A., established in Ostrów Mazowiecka (Poland), represented by H. Basiński, lawyer,

ACTION brought against the decision of the Third Board of Appeal of EUIPO of 14 January 2019 (Case R 291/2018-3), relating to invalidity proceedings between Bog-Fran and Fabryki Mebli “Forte”,

THE GENERAL COURT (Fifth Chamber),

composed of D. Spielmann (Rapporteur), President, U. Öberg and O. Spineanu-Matei, Judges,

Registrar: E. Coulon,

having regard to the application lodged at the Court Registry on 14 March 2019,

having regard to the response of EUIPO lodged at the Court Registry on 12 June 2019,

having regard to the response of the intervener lodged at the Court Registry on 10 June 2019,

having regard to the fact that no request for a hearing was submitted by the parties within three weeks after service of notification of the close of the written part of the procedure, and having decided to rule on the action without an oral part of the 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 17 September 2013, the intervener, Fabryki Mebli “Forte” S.A., filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 on Community designs (OJ 2002 L 3, p. 1), an application for registration of a Community design which is represented as follows:

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2        The goods to which the contested design was intended to be applied are in Class 6 of the Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs of 8 October 1968, as amended, and correspond to the following description: ‘Furniture’.

3        The contested design was registered as a Community design under the number 001384002-0034 on 17 September 2013 and published in Community Designs Bulletin No 222/2013 of 21 November 2013.

4        On 14 March 2016, the applicant, Bog-Fran sp. z o.o. sp.k., filed an application, pursuant to Article 52 of Regulation No 6/2002, for a declaration that the contested design was invalid.

5        The ground relied upon in support of the application for a declaration of invalidity was that set out in Article 25(1)(b) of Regulation No 6/2002. The applicant submitted 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 of that regulation.

6        In support of its application for a declaration of invalidity, the applicant submitted the following documents:

–        an extract from a catalogue entitled ‘NABYTKU — Novinka 2008 — WHITE’, containing the following representations of an item of furniture named ‘skrin 2D WH9’, to which it was claimed that the earlier design had been applied: