IEFBE 2238

Deurklink van Gamet met fijne verticale groef erin is niet onderscheidend

Gerecht EU 5 juli 2017, IEF 16921; IEFbe 2238;  ECLI:EU:T:2017:466; T‑306/16 (Gamet tegen EUIPO) Modelrecht. Gamet heeft een registratie verkregen voor het model van een deurklink. Metal-Bud II heeft verzocht dit model nietig te verklaren wegens een eerder model genaamd 'DORA'. Dit werd afgewezen door de nietigheidsafdeling omdat eerdergenoemd model voldeed aan de vereisten van nieuwheid en individueel karakter. Het beroep bij de Derde Kamer van Beroep van EUIPO werd in stand gehouden en de uitspraak van de nietigheidsafdeling werd vernietigd. Gamet stelt dat de uitspraak van EUIPO moet worden vernietigd. Het Gerecht stelt dat er een grote mate van ontwerpvrijheid is bij het maken van deurklinken nu deze alle soorten kleuren, patronen, vormen en materialen kunnen bevatten. Daarnaast bestaat de verticale groef uit een fijne lijn die maar een klein gebied omvat en is het nogal een eenvoudige vorm van decoratie waarvan het onwaarschijnlijk is dat de geïnformeerde gebruiker dit zal opmerken. De algehele indruk is daarom identiek. Het beroep wordt verworpen.

45. In the present case, the Board of Appeal noted that the freedom enjoyed by designers of door handles was almost unlimited because handles can come in any combination of colours, patterns, shapes and materials. It added that the only limitation on that freedom was that the handle must have a grip and must be able to be mounted onto a door.

46. As a result, contrary to the applicant’s submission, the Board of Appeal specifically assessed the degree of freedom enjoyed by the designer of a door handle with a grip. Furthermore, it is clear that the applicant’s arguments as regards the features imposed by the technical function of a door handle with a grip are not such as to call into question the valid conclusion of the Board of Appeal that a door handle with a grip may be made in a very wide variety of shapes, colours and materials.

47. Therefore, the Board of Appeal was fully entitled to find that the degree of freedom enjoyed by the designer of a door handle with a grip was very high.


48. The applicant disputes the Board of Appeal’s conclusion that the designs at issue produce the same overall impression on the informed user. In that regard, it argues that the informed user does not attach much importance to features that are commonplace or normal for the type of product concerned and concentrates on features that are superficial or different from the norm. Therefore, the presence of special ornamentation may justify the registration of a design as a Community design. In the present case, this would apply to the grip featured on the contested design, which is decorated with a groove clearly dividing the handle into two parts and altering the user’s perception of its proportions. Not present on the DORA handle featured in the earlier design, that groove makes the handle featured in the contested design innovative and suffices to give the latter individual character.

49. In its analysis of the groove shown on the contested design, the Board of Appeal correctly observed that it was an inherent feature of the design, visible from all angles. However, it was also right to find that that groove had only a slight effect on the overall impression produced by the contested design. It must be observed that the groove consists of a fine recessed vertical line surrounding the grip of the handle, therefore covering a very small area, in particular in relation to the size of the grip, of the contested design. Moreover, it is quite a simple form of decoration and it is unlikely that it would particularly capture the attention of the informed user.