On November 2014, HALFAR System GmbH, applied for and registered the following Community design in respect of ‘bags’. On July 2020, Hotel equipment Schranz GmbH filed an application for a declaration of invalidity of the registered Community design, on the grounds that it lacked of novelty and individual character and, in addition it consisted exclusively of features of appearance of a product which are solely dictated by its technical function.

On January 2022, the Invalidity Division rejected the application for a declaration of invalidity of the contested Community design, and Hotel equipment Schranz was ordered to bear the costs. The Office found that the design of the pocket with a dark floor was not solely dictated by its technical function, even though it helps to make less noticeable any stains or impurities that come into contact with a moist background, as colouring also has aesthetic effects.

Hotel equipment Schranz filed a notice of appeal against the decision of the Invalidity Division and requested that it be annulled.


In this case, the appeal was dismissed, confirming the contested decision of the Invalidity Division.

According to the Board of Appeal, the applicant for invalidity proved a disclosure of three earlier designs by submitting several internet extracts from 2014. In this sense, the Board reminds that the insertion of the image of a design on the internet is in principle a process that can be regarded as ‘publication’ and therefore substantiates ‘disclosure’ within the meaning of Art. 7.1 CDR (20/10/2021, T-823/19, EU:T:2021:718, Spiralhaargummi, § 32).

When comparing the earlier designs with the contested design, they correspond in the features of a top-open body, at the upper end of which has two rope or tent supports, which are each carried out on the front and back of the body by two round, matching eyelets. However, the Board found that there were many differences with regard to the shape of its body, surface, materials and, in particular, it found that the different colour contrasts of the earlier designs alternating dark and blue and white stripes, which creates a ‘Marine-Look’, contributed to a different overall impression. Therefore, the design differs from the earlier designs in more than only immaterial details, which means that it also possesses novelty pursuant to Art. 5 CDR.

The appeal must be dismissed and, consequently, the Invalidity Division correctly rejected the application for a declaration of invalidity.

[Case R 448/2022-3, 12/12/2022]