Intellectual Property Newsletter
PepsiCo loses its Community design for ‘rappers’ in the first design case decided by the General Court of the European Union
Dr Alexander von Mühlendahl
Community designs – Community-wide intellectual property rights in the external appearance of new and original products or
product features – are acquired through first use in the Community as Unregistered Community Designs (UCDs), and as Registered
Community Designs (RCDs) through registration at the European Union’s Trade Marks and Designs Office (Office for Harmonization
in the Internal Market) (OHIM) in Alicante. Validity of RCDs may be challenged by bringing a cancellation action before OHIM.
First instance decisions may be appealed to OHIM’s Boards of Appeal, and their decisions may be challenged by an action against
OHIM before the European Union’s General Court, located in Luxembourg (GC). The decisions of that court may be reviewed on
points of law by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). This is very similar to cases involving Community trademarks,
but the IP public may not yet be as familiar with design cases as they are with trademark cases.