Court of Justice (Eighth Chamber), Order, 4 May 2016, in case C‑602/15 P (Monster Energy Company v. EUIPO)
Court of Justice (Eighth Chamber), Order, 4 May 2016, in case C‑603/15 P (Monster Energy Company v. EUIPO)
Article 45 of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union — concept of unforeseeable circumstances or force majeure
The second paragraph of Article 45 of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union states that “no right shall be prejudiced in consequence of the expiry of a time limit if the party concerned proves the existence of unforeseeable circumstances or of force majeure.
The concept of force majeur must be understood in the sense of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the operator’s control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised
These concepts imply that there is a subjective element corresponding to the obligation to guard against the consequences of the abnormal event by taking appropriate steps without making unreasonable sacrifices, and do not relate to a situation in which, objectively, a diligent and prudent person would have been able to take the necessary steps before the expiry of the period prescribed for instituting proceedings.
A malfunctioning of the representative’s fax machine, that caused a failure in the reception of the EUIPO communication, cannot be considered as a unforeseeable circumstances or force majeure in the meaning of Art. 45, because the representative should have established directly with EUIPO, whether the latter had notified a decision to him. A precaution such as that does not involve unreasonable sacrifices.
categoria:European Case Law