IP Cases & Commentary – Details
9 March 2012
General Court Confirms CTM Applications Constitute ‘Object of Property’ which Transfers on Death of Applicant
Case T-298/10 Arrieta D Gross v OHIM - Toro Araneda (BIODANZA)
In a decision published on 8 March 2012, the General Court of the European Union (the Court) confirmed that when an applicant for a Community Trade Mark (CTM) dies during the course of opposition proceedings, the CTM application is transferred to another person in accordance with the law of succession of the relevant Member State of the European Union (Article 16(1) of Council Regulation 207/2009). The Court also confirmed that, whilst the new proprietor of the CTM application must register the transfer at OHIM, the new proprietor is deemed to have acquired the CTM application at the moment when the initial applicant died.
In the present case, IBF was the beneficiary of the CTM application under the provisions of the will of the initial applicant, who had died prior to the decision of the Board of Appeal in opposition proceedings. Applying the analysis set out above, the Court concluded that IBF was therefore actually the other party in the proceedings before the Board of Appeal and was consequently entitled to participate as Intervener in proceedings before the Court. More generally, the Court confirmed that, whilst it was entitled to examine the locus standi of any of the parties before it, this examination could not lead the Court to question the decision made by OHIM to register the transfer of the mark.