On November 29, 2013 Division 2 of the National Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters confirmed the district court’s decision rejecting the plaintiff’s request that notice of the complaint for damages (due to an injunction granted to defendant and subsequently revoked against the use of the trademark “CYCLIC”) be served in the legal domicile declared by said defendant in the pretrial mediation hearing and in said injunction process, instead of defendant’s actual domicile in France, as prescribed by sections 339 and 340 of the Code of Civil Procedure (“Craveri S.A. v. Pierre Fabre Medicament S.A. et al”, case No. 1503/2012).
To so decide the Court first pointed out that this complaint for damages could not be considered as being ancillary to the injunction, and therefore susceptible of being notified to the legal domicile mentioned in said injunction, and the fact that the injunction was the cause for the alleged damages did not per se authorize the plaintiff to depart from the general principle according to which notice must be served to the defendant’s actual domicile, even if located abroad (sections 339, first paragraph, and 340 of the Code of Civil Procedure).
The Court further argued that it was not reasonable to extend the legal consequences of the domicile declared in the pretrial mediation to a process involving facts completely unrelated to the legal representative who had acted in said hearing on behalf of the defendant, particularly when this interpretation conflicted with basic principles such as due process and equality before the law.
Finally, the Court declared that section 14 of the Trademark Law, according to which the domicile declared by the opponent to a trademark application could be used to serve notice of the complaint seeking to dismiss said opposition, was not applicable in this case, the purpose of which was to obtain a compensation for damages.
This decision follows others which hold that notice of a complaint must be served in the defendant’s actual domicile, even if located abroad, except for the specific situations established in section 122 of the Law of Corporations.