In issue 10/2022 of “GRUR-Prax – Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht / Praxis im Immaterialgüter- und Wettbewerbsrecht” BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT partner and attorney at law Dr. Rudolf Böckenholt discusses a decision of the ECJ of March 24, 2022 (T-544/21, GRUR-RS 2022, 6292) on missing a time limit for appeal during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Chaotic conditions during the Covid 19 pandemic are neither unforeseeable nor force majeure”
The court states that fortuity and force majeure only exist in the case of objective, extraordinary circumstances with inevitable consequences outside the sphere of influence of the affected party, against which the latter cannot subjectively take precautions without making unreasonable sacrifices in order to avoid a legal disadvantage.
At the time of service of the first-instance decision in the fall of 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic had not been an abnormal or unforeseeable circumstance, but had been known for more than a year, and restrictions on public and private life no longer changed this, insofar as the lockdown had not been complete. Appropriate precautionary and preparatory measures would have to be taken to ensure the processing of deadline-bound transactions within a prolonged global pandemic situation.
Dr. Böckenholt’s article in German can be found in the printed edition of GRUR-Prax 10/2022 of May 18, 2022 on page 297 or for subscribers of Beck-Online here.