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Wednesday, 25 February 2004


In a recent opposition before the UK Trade Marks Registry brought by the fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel, the Lord Chancellor's Appointed Person (LCAP), David Kitchen QC, has stated his intention to refer various questions that arose in the course of the opposition to the European Court of Justice. To the IPKat's knowledge, this is the first time that an LCAP has made an Article 234 reference. More usually, when such a difficult legal issue arises, the LCAP will refer the case to the High Court, which will refer the question to the ECJ if necessary. However, the LCAP failed to do so in this case because moving the case to the High Court may have made it too expensive for the opponent to pursue and he had hoped that the case could be resolved on the facts without need for any further hearing.

The LCAP hears appeals from the Trade Mark Registry. No appeal lies from cases before the LCAP unless he choses to stay the case and refer it to the High Court.

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