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The texts and information contained in the Court's internet site are available free of charge for the purposes of public information.
The texts of the judgments, orders, Opinions and notices present on the site are subject to amendment; only the versions published in the "Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance" or the "Official Journal of the European Union" are authentic [That is so unhelpful. It takes an astonishingly long time to turn a piece of text which is good enough to post online into a printed document. In last week's ruling of the ECJ in Case C-552/09 P Ferrero the court referred to two of its earlier decisions, C-398/07 P and C-57/08 P, decided on 7 May 2009 and 11 December 2008 respectively -- and both still unreported].
The information and texts available on this site may be reproduced provided the source is acknowledged [How must this be acknowledged? Is a direct hyperlink sufficient, or is there a preferred format for online and printed reproductions?]. Readers should be aware that certain parts of such information and texts might be protected under intellectual property law, in particular by copyright [Readers should also be aware that the fact that accessed material may be protected by IPR, and in particular copyright, does not mean that any unauthorised use constitutes an infringement of any such rights].
Links to the pages on this site are permitted provided that:This member of the IPKat team lives in the present, and considers that life's too short to wait years and years for the printed versions of ECJ and General Court rulings. Since the courts themselves are content to rely on the non-authentic versions which they continue to cite, we shouldn't lose too much sleep over it either.
- the browser window does not contain any information other than that of the page of the present site to which the link is made and its address; [The IPKat is happy to oblige, but Merpel can't help wondering as to what provisions of European Union or national law Curia might wish to evoke if this condition was not fulfilled]
- none of the information provided on this site is modified [Hmm, sniffs Merpel, it does say earlier that the site's contents are "subject to amendment", but it doesn't say by whom!]".
Merpel adds, material published in the Official Journal of the European Union might be authentic and only a month or two behind the actual rulings, but on the whole it's useless for any legal purposes. An example taken at random is the official and presumably authentic note of a General Court decision from 11 February 2011, published online in the Official Journal on 24 March here:
Judgment of the General Court of 15 February 2011 — Yorma's v OHIM — Norma Lebensmittelfilialbetrieb (YORMA’S)There's no clue as to what the basis for the decision is, yet it's that which might tempt someone to look at the decision in the first place. There's no link to the decision against which the appeal is made, and which will contain (i) the facts, (ii) the arguments and (iii) an illustration of the figurative mark -- all of which are more important for the reader than the padded pomposity of the defendant's full name ("Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs)") -- a name by which this Kat has never heard any of its employees refer to it in conversation.
(Case T-213/09) ( 1 )
(Community trade mark — Opposition proceedings — Application for the Community figurative mark including the word element ‘yorma’s’ — Earlier Community word mark NORMA — Relative ground for refusal — Likelihood of confusion — Article 8(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 40/94 (now Article 8(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 207/2009))
Language of the case: German
Applicant: Yorma’s AG (Deggendorf, Germany) (represented by: A. Weiß, lawyer)
Defendant: Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (represented by: S. Schäffner, acting as Agent)
Other party to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal of OHIM, intervener before the General Court: Norma Lebensmittelfilialbetrieb GmbH & Co. KG (Nuremberg, Germany) (represented by: A. von Welser, lawyer)
Action brought against the decision of the First Board of Appeal of OHIM of 20 February 2009 (Case R 1879/2007-1), concerning opposition proceedings between Norma Lebensmittelfilialbetrieb GmbH & Co. KG and Yorma’s AG
Operative part of the judgment
1. dismisses the action;
2. orders Yorma’s AG to pay the costs.
It's 2011 and we're in a different world from 1952, when the Official Journal's most distant predecessor was first published -- yet series remains obstinately unchanged. Let's have some joined-up thinking between the Curia and the Commission as to what functionality its official publications should have, what its users' interests are, and what are the trade-offs when trying to achieve the right balance of speed, accessibility, reliability and that great proportionaliser, cost.