DESIGN | ECJ on cross-IP priority claims

On 27 February 2024, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment in case C‑382/21 P (EUIPO v The KaiKai Company Jaeger Wichmann GbR), concerning the interpretation of Article 41(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001, which establishes the nature of the IP rights on which a priority claim may be based and the duration of the period within which such priority may be claimed. The matter of the dispute concerns a priority claim for the registration of 12 Community designs based on an international patent application filed twelve months before the date of that application for registration and refused by the EUIPO because the six-month period allowed for claiming priority had been exceeded. The ECJ upheld the arguments of the EUIPO and stated that, from the plain wording of Article 41(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002, only two categories of earlier applications (i.e. design or utility model applications for registration) can establish a right of priority for a subsequent application for registration of a Community design, solely within a period of six months from the filing date of the earlier application.

Newsletter n. 95 – April 2024