ORDER OF THE GENERAL COURT (Sixth Chamber)

15 March 2016 (*)

(Community trade mark — Application initiating proceedings — Failure to comply with procedural requirements — Absence of a handwritten signature — Scanned signature — Manifest inadmissibility)

In Case T‑774/15,

Médis — Companhia portuguesa de seguros de saúde, SA, established in Porto Salvo (Portugal), represented by M. Martinho do Rosário, lawyer,

applicant,

v

Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM),

defendant,

the other party to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal of OHIM being

Medis ehf., established in Hafnarfjördur (Iceland),

ACTION brought against the decision of the First Board of Appeal of OHIM of 23 September 2015 (Case R 1613/2014-1), relating to opposition proceedings between Medis ehf. and Médis — Companhia portuguesa de seguros de saúde, SA,

THE GENERAL COURT (Sixth Chamber),

composed of S. Frimodt Nielsen (Rapporteur), President, F. Dehousse and A.M. Collins, Judges,

Registrar: E. Coulon,

makes the following

Order

 Facts and procedure

1        By decision of 23 September 2015 (Case R 1613/2014-1), relating to opposition proceedings between Medis ehf. and Médis — Companhia portuguesa de seguros de saúde, SA, the First Board of Appeal of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) partially upheld the opposition of Medis ehf. against the registration by the applicant of the figurative trademark Médis. The applicant was notified of that decision on 13 October 2015.

2        The applicant brought the present action by an application received at the Registry of the General Court by telefax on 23 December 2015.

3        A paper version of the application was received at the Registry of the General Court on 31 December 2015. The application did not bear the handwritten signature of the applicant’s lawyer, but only a scanned signature. The period prescribed for the lodging of an action against a decision of the Board of Appeal expired on 23 December 2015.

 Law

4        Under Article 126 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court, where the action is manifestly inadmissible, the Court may, by reasoned order and without taking further steps in the proceedings, give a decision on the action.

5        In the present case, the Court considers that the case file provides sufficient information and decides, in accordance with that article, to give a decision on the action without taking further steps in the proceedings.

6        According to Article 73(1) of the Rules of Procedure, ‘[t]he original paper version of a procedural document must bear the handwritten signature of the party’s agent or lawyer’.

7        The requirement, imposed by that provision, that the original of every procedural document must bear a handwritten signature, namely a signature by the author of the procedural document in question, is intended, with the object of legal certainty, to ensure the authenticity of that procedural document and to exclude the risk that it is not in reality the work of the duly authorised person (see, to that effect, order of 6 October 2015 in Marpefa v OHIM, C‑181/15 P, EU:C:2015:678, paragraph 22).

8        Under Article 73(3) of the Rules of Procedure, the date on and time at which a full copy of the signed original of a procedural document, including the schedule of items referred to in Article 72(3) thereof, is received at the Registry by telefax shall be deemed to be the date and time of lodgement for the purposes of compliance with the procedural time limits, provided that the signed original of the procedural document, accompanied by the annexes and copies referred to in Article 73(2), is lodged at the Registry no later than 10 days thereafter.

9        In the present case, the copy of the application was received at the Registry of the General Court by telefax on 23 December 2015, that is, the day of the deadline for instituting proceedings.

10      The paper version of the application was received at the Registry on 31 December 2015. However, the application did not bear the handwritten signature of the applicant’s lawyer, but only that lawyer’s scanned signature.

11      It must be held that the application did not satisfy the requirements of Article 73(1) of the Rules of Procedure.

12      It follows from the foregoing considerations that the action must be dismissed as clearly inadmissible, and there is no need to serve it on OHIM.

 Costs

13      Since this order has been adopted before service of the application on OHIM and before the latter could have incurred any costs, it is sufficient to order that the applicant must bear its own costs, in accordance with Article 133 of the Rules of Procedure.

On those grounds,

THE GENERAL COURT (Sixth Chamber),

hereby orders:

1.      The action is dismissed as manifestly inadmissible.

2.      Médis — Companhia portuguesa de seguros de saúde, SA is to bear its own costs.

Luxembourg, 15 March 2016.

E. Coulon

      S. Frimodt Nielsen
Registrar

President