A critical review of recent design case law by the General Court of the European Union
Henning HartwigDr. jur., Attorney-at-Law, Munich, Germany

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According to the Court of Justice, assessing the validity of a registered Community design over an earlier design, under the individual-character test, is largely a question of fact, falling into the General Court’s exclusive jurisdiction. Hence, this court’s decisions on appeals from the Boards of Appeal of the EUIPO will practically be the ultimate word, with an enormous importance for shaping and developing European design law. Some recent case law, however, causes concerns with respect to quality, terminology, and consistency.

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