In the light of the Covid-19 crisis, several Royal Decrees were issued yesterday in order to tackle some urgent judicial issues.
A summary of the measures that could affect IP law matters, outlined in the Royal Decree No 2 of 9 April 2020, can be found here:
All the limitation periods, and other deadlines to launch an action in civil matters, starting on or after the date of publication of the Royal Decree and expiring before the end of the lockdown (which is, for the moment, set on the 3rd of May), will be extended by one month after the end of the lockdown, i.e. until the 3rd of June.
The same rule applies, in ongoing or future proceedings, to the procedural deadlines (for ex. the deadlines for the exchange of submissions) or to the deadlines to lodge an appeal, of which the non-compliance would be sanctioned.
When a deadline to file submissions with the courts is extended by one month after the end of the lockdown, all the subsequent deadlines for the exchange of submissions will automatically be reported as well. This also applies to trials when the last deadline for a party to file its submissions expires less than one month before the date of the hearing.
An exception is provided for urgent matters: the court has the possibility to depart from this rule upon request of a party and to organise summary inter partes proceedings, potentially with a videoconference hearing.
All cases before the courts that are set to be heard before or on the 3rd of June, and in which parties have exchanged their final submissions, will be taken under deliberation, without oral pleadings (with the possibility for the court to request oral explanations on specific points via videoconference).
The parties may oppose the absence of oral arguments via a written and substantiated communication to the court. If all the parties oppose to the absence of oral arguments, the hearing will be postponed. If none of the parties or only one or a few of them challenge it, the judge will decide whether the case will be dealt with, possibly by videoconference, or to postpone it or to take it under deliberation without oral arguments.
On 6 May 2015, the European Commission announced its 'Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe'. This strategy was based on three pillars:
- A better access to online goods and services for consumers and businesses across Europe;
- the creating framework conditions conducive to digital networks and services; and
- a maximum growth potential for the European digital economy.
Find out more in our issues covering this new directive.
The SkyKick judgment confirms: a trade mark cannot be invalidated on the ground that its goods or services description is insufficiently clear and precise. Filing for a trade mark without any intention to use it in relation to some or all of the goods can constitute bad faith leading to entire or partial invalidation of the mark. ‘Intent to use’ requirements in national trade mark laws are not incompatible with EU law as far as they do not constitute an invalidity ground.
As a first measure "achieve a well-functioning marketplace for copyright” the DSM Directive mentions "rights in publications". These are, on the one hand, the much disputed "protection of press publications concerning online uses" (Art. 15) and, on the other hand, the less disputed "claims for fair compensation" (Art. 16).