Who can file an appeal?
Anyone who is adversely affected by a decision can file an appeal.
Time-limit and form of an Appeal
A distinction must be made between the Notice of Appeal and the Statement of Grounds.
Notification of contested decision
The Notice of Appeal
After the contested decision has been notified, you have two months to file the Notice of Appeal. Additionally, the appeal fee must be paid and received by the Office within that two-month time-limit. As in any other proceedings before OHIM, if you wish to file an appeal, we recommend you to use the model form provided by OHIM which will help you to avoid making mistakes, which may result in the inadmissibility of the appeal.
The Statement of Grounds
The statement of grounds shall expose the grounds of appeal, in facts and in law, that the appellant wishes to put forward in their appeal. It can be filed either with the notice of appeal or separately within four months after notification of the contested decision.
Both, the Notice of Appeal and the Statement of Grounds must be filed in writing and must be in the language of proceedings. They can be sent by normal postal mail, by courier service, by fax or be delivered by hand.
First instance revision
Once the Statement of Grounds is received, the Registry of the Boards submits the Appeal (Notice of Appeal and Statement of Grounds) to the first instance. In ex-parte cases, i.e. cases which involve only one party, the department whose decision is contested will correct its decision if it considers the appeal acceptable and well-founded; if it does not consider the appeal acceptable or well-founded, the case will be sent back to the Boards of Appeal.
In inter-parte cases, i.e. cases which involve more than one party, the department whose decision is contested will correct its decision if it considers the appeal acceptable and well-founded, as long as the other party accepts the rectification. The department whose decision is contested has one month to decide on the revision; if the department whose decision is contested does not consider the appeal acceptable or well-founded, the case will be sent back to the Boards of Appeal.
In an ex-parte case, the file is immediately submitted to the chairperson of the competent Board who will designate a Rapporteur.
In inter-partes cases there is a slightly different procedure. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal, the respondent is allowed to file a response. After a response is filed, the Board may authorise further submissions by the parties (reply/rejoinder).
After the written part of the proceedings, the file is submitted to the chairperson of the competent Board, who will designate a Rapporteur.
In both types of proceedings, if the Rapporteur considers it worthwhile, he or she will contact the party/ies to clarify any important questions regarding the appeal. Otherwise, a decision will be drafted and discussed by the Board. The party will be notified when a decision has been adopted.
The Boards decisions may be subject to an appeal, within two months from the notification of the decision, before the General Court. The grounds for such appeal are laid down in Article 65 (2) CTMR and Article 61(2) CDR.
All judgments of the GC may be appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union.