Aromazones | Decision 2573395 – HYTECK v. Melitta Europa GmbH & Co. KG

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OPPOSITION No B 2 573 395

Hytech, 42 avenue Julien, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France (opponent), represented by Cabinet Germain & Maureau, 12, rue Boileau, 69006 Lyon, France (professional representative)

a g a i n s t

Melitta Europa GmbH & Co. KG, Ringstr. 99, 32427 Minden, Germany (applicant), represented by Frank Reese, Melitta Zentralgesellschaft GmbH & Co. KG, Marienstr. 88, 32425 Minden, Germany (employee representative).

On 10/02/2017, the Opposition Division takes the following

DECISION:

1.        Opposition No B 2 573 395 is rejected in its entirety.

2.        The opponent bears the costs.

REASONS:

The opponent filed an opposition against all the goods of European Union trade mark application No 14 017 008 in Class 16. The opposition is based on international trade mark registration No 1 217 328 designating the European Union. The opponent invoked Article 8(1)(b) EUTMR.

The signs:

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Aromazones

Earlier trade mark

Contested sign

SUBSTANTIATION

According to Article 76(1) EUTMR, in proceedings before it the Office shall examine the facts of its own motion; however, in proceedings relating to relative grounds for refusal of registration, the Office shall be restricted in this examination to the facts, evidence and arguments provided by the parties and the relief sought.

It follows that the Office cannot take into account any alleged rights for which the opponent does not submit appropriate evidence.

According to Rule 19(1) EUTMIR, the Office shall give the opposing party the opportunity to present the facts, evidence and arguments in support of its opposition or to complete any facts, evidence or arguments that have already been submitted together with the notice of opposition, within a time limit specified by the Office.

According to Rule 19(2) EUTMIR, within the period referred to above, the opposing party shall also file proof of the existence, validity and scope of protection of its earlier mark or earlier right, as well as evidence proving its entitlement to file the opposition.

In particular, if the opposition is based on a registered trade mark which is not a European Union trade mark, the opposing party must provide a copy of the relevant registration certificate and, as the case may be, of the latest renewal certificate, showing that the term of protection of the trade mark extends beyond the time limit referred to in paragraph 1 and any extension thereof, or equivalent documents emanating from the administration by which the trade mark was registered — Rule 19(2)(a)(ii) EUTMIR.

In the present case, the notice of opposition was not accompanied by any evidence as regards the earlier trade mark on which the opposition is based.

On 09/09/2015 the opponent was given two months, commencing after the ending of the cooling-off period, to submit the abovementioned material. This time limit expired on 14/01/2016. On 13/01/2016, according to Rule 20(7) and Rule 21(2) EUTMIR, the parties requested a suspension of the proceedings and the deadline was set as 11/03/2017. However, on 21/09/2016 the applicant opted out of this suspension, and the parties were informed that the proceedings would be resumed on 20/10/2016 and, therefore, the due date for the opponent to substantiate its opposition would be 19/12/2016.

The opponent submitted the required evidence on 05/01/2017, that is, only after the expiry of the abovementioned time limit.

According to Rule 19(4) EUTMIR, the Office shall not take into account written submissions or documents, or parts thereof, that have not been submitted, or that have not been translated into the language of the proceedings, within the time limit set by the Office.

According to Rule 20(1) EUTMIR, if until expiry of the period referred to in Rule 19(1) EUTMIR the opposing party has not proven the existence, validity and scope of protection of its earlier mark or earlier right, as well as its entitlement to file the opposition, the opposition shall be rejected as unfounded.

The opposition must therefore be rejected as unfounded.


COSTS

According to Article 85(1) EUTMR, the losing party in opposition proceedings must bear the fees and costs incurred by the other party.

Since the opponent is the losing party, it must bear the costs incurred by the applicant in the course of these proceedings.

According to Rule 94(3) and Rule 94(7)(d)(ii) EUTMIR, the costs to be paid to the applicant are the costs of representation which are to be fixed on the basis of the maximum rate set therein. In the present case the applicant did not appoint a professional representative within the meaning of Article 93 EUTMR and therefore did not incur representation costs.

The Opposition Division

Ana MUÑIZ RODRIGUEZ

Fabián GARCIA QUINTO

Zuzanna STOJKOWICZ

According to Article 59 EUTMR, any party adversely affected by this decision has a right to appeal against this decision. According to Article 60 EUTMR, notice of appeal must be filed in writing at the Office within two months of the date of notification of this decision. It must be filed in the language of the proceedings in which the decision subject to appeal was taken. Furthermore, a written statement of the grounds of appeal must be filed within four months of the same date. The notice of appeal will be deemed to be filed only when the appeal fee of EUR 720 has been paid.

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