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Greek court rules on trademark infringement in connection to UK-domiciled entities after Brexit

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Evangelia Sioumala of Patrinos & Kilimiris looks at a recent judgment that examines the applicability of Regulations 1215/2012 and 2017/1001 when it comes to entities domiciliated in UK, following Brexit

The Athens Multi Bench Court of First Instance, Special Department of Commercial Law, recently had to deal with the question of whether it had jurisdiction to decide on a case concerning trademark infringement, where the defendant was an entity domiciliated in the UK.

The plaintiff was a Greek company and the owner of three trademarks (two national and one EUTM) which were alleged to be infringed in Greece. The main infringement action was filed on May 2 2019, while the case was heard on January 20 2021.  

Assessing the issue of the choice of jurisdiction in the above case, the court inevitably dealt with the relevant provisions of Regulations (EU) Nos. 2017/1001 and 1215/2012.

In this respect, the court stated that the provisions of the Regulations 1215/2012 and 2017/1001 are directly applicable to any action against UK domiciliaries until December 31 2020, that is the date of expiry of the transitional period after provided for under 2019/C 384 I/01.

Furthermore, it was held that the decisive factor to determine the applicability of the above-mentioned EU legislation in connection with a UK-based entity is the time, when the main infringement action was filed, whereas other factors, such as the hearing date or the day, when the judgment is to be delivered are not relevant in this respect.

In view of the above, the Greek court ruled that it was within its jurisdiction to try the case, regardless of the fact that the hearing took place on January 20 2021, i.e. after the expiry of the transitional period mentioned above, since the main action was filed on May 2 2019, i.e. before the expiry of the transitional period at issue.

 

Evangelia Sioumala

Associate, Patrinos & Kilimiris

E: esioumala@patrinoskilimiris.com

 

 

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