The General Court identifies the threats and opportunities created by drawn out opposition proceedings.

In Beko plc v EUIPO (14 February 2019), in annulling the decision of the Board of Appeal of EUIPO, the General Court has made it clear that in opposition proceedings, an earlier registered mark that is relied upon must still be registered as of the date of decision by EUIPO regardless of how long the proceedings have taken and regardless whether as of the date of application for the later mark, the earlier registered mark was still within the “honeymoon” 1st 5 year period and thus not vulnerable to be revoked for lack of genuine use.

This case has important ramifications to those involved in opposition proceedings as if they get drawn out, prior rights may suddenly become vulnerable to revocation for lack of use.

Guy Tritton acted for Beko plc instructed by Beck Greener.

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