New rules came into force on 01 May 2019 which affect appeals to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) where cases have already been considered twice. Appeals that have already been considered twice, that is initially by an independent board of appeal (including the EUIPO Board of Appeal) and then by the General Court, may now only proceed at the CJEU, wholly or in part, where they raise an issue that is significant with respect to the unity, consistency or development of EU law.
In terms of formalities, appeals to the CJEU must now be accompanied by a request that sets out how an issue is significant with respect to the unity, consistency or development of EU law. This request must not exceed seven pages. If no request is filed, the appeal will be deemed inadmissible.
If the request complies with all formal requirements, the CJEU will rule on whether the appeal may proceed. The order that the appeal should be allowed to proceed will be served, together with the appeal, on the parties to the relevant case before the General Court along with the General Court itself.
These new rules are intended to reduce the number of cases that are dismissed by the CJEU on the grounds that they are manifestly unfounded or inadmissible. The CJEU has seen a large increase in the number of cases before it, and it is hoped that the procedural change will improve the functioning of the court.