IP case law Court of Justice

Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 (Agricultural products)

Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 Of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007

5 preliminary rulings

Judgment of 17 Dec 2020, C-490/19 (Syndicat interprofessionnel de défense du fromage Morbier)

Article 13(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs and Article 13(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs must be interpreted as meaning that they do not prohibit solely the use by a third party of a registered name.Article 13(1)(d) of Regulation No 510/2006 and Article 13(1)(d) of Regulation No 1151/2012 must be interpreted as prohibiting the reproduction of the shape or appearance characterising a product covered by a registered name where that reproduction is liable to lead the consumer to believe that the product in question is covered by that registered name. It is necessary to assess whether such reproduction may mislead the European consumer, who is normally informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, taking into account all relevant factors in the case.

Judgment of 4 Dec 2019, C-432/18 (Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena)

Article 1 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 583/2009 of 3 July 2009 entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications [Aceto Balsamico di Modena (PGI)] must be interpreted as meaning that the protection of the name ‘Aceto Balsamico di Modena’ does not extend to the use of the individual non-geographical terms of that name.

Judgment of 17 Oct 2019, C-569/18 (Caseificio Cirigliana and Others)

Article 4(c) and Article 7(1)(e) of Regulation No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs, and the product specification for ‘PDO Mozzarella di Bufala Campana’ must be interpreted as not precluding national rules, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, which provide that ‘PDO Mozzarella di Bufala Campana’ must be produced in areas exclusively designated for the production of that cheese, including within one set of premises, in which the holding and storage of milk originating from farms that are not subject to the monitoring system for the protected designation of origin (PDO) ‘Mozzarella di Bufala Campana’ is prohibited, if those rules are a necessary and proportionate means of safeguarding the quality of that product or ensuring that the specification for that PDO is monitored, which is a matter for the referring court to verify.

Judgment of 2 May 2019, C-614/17 (Queso Manchego)

Article 13(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs must be interpreted as meaning that a registered name may be evoked through the use of figurative signs.

Article 13(1)(b) of Regulation No 510/2006 must be interpreted as meaning that the use of figurative signs evoking the geographical area with which a designation of origin, as referred to in Article 2(1)(a) of that regulation, is associated may constitute evocation of that designation, including where such figurative signs are used by a producer established in that region, but whose products, similar or comparable to those protected by the designation of origin, are not covered by it.

The concept of the average consumer who is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, to whose perception the national court has to refer in order to assess whether there is ‘evocation’ within the meaning of Article 13(1)(b) of Regulation No 510/2006, must be understood as covering European consumers, including consumers of the Member State in which the product giving rise to evocation of the protected name is made or with which that name is geographically associated and in which the product is mainly consumed.

Judgment of 20 Dec 2017, C-393/16 (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne)

Article 118m(2)(a)(ii) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 of 22 October 2007 establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation), as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 491/2009 of 25 May 2009, and Article 103(2)(a)(ii) of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 October 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007 are to be interpreted as meaning that the scope of those provisions covers a situation where a protected designation of origin, such as ‘Champagne’, is used as part of the name under which a foodstuff is sold, such as ‘Champagner Sorbet’, and where that foodstuff does not correspond to the product specifications for that protected designation of origin but contains an ingredient which does correspond to those specifications.

Article 118m(2)(a)(ii) of Regulation No 1234/2007, as amended by Regulation No 491/2009, and Article 103(2)(a)(ii) of Regulation No 1308/2013 are to be interpreted as meaning that the use of a protected designation of origin as part of the name under which is sold a foodstuff that does not correspond to the product specifications for that protected designation of origin but contains an ingredient that does correspond to those specifications, such as ‘Champagner Sorbet’, constitutes exploitation of the reputation of a protected designation of origin, within the meaning of those provisions, if that foodstuff does not have, as one of its essential characteristics, a taste attributable primarily to the presence of that ingredient in the composition of the foodstuff.

Article 118m(2)(b) of Regulation No 1234/2007, as amended by Regulation No 491/2009, and Article 103(2)(b) of Regulation No 1308/2013 are to be interpreted as meaning that the use of a protected designation of origin as part of the name under which is sold a foodstuff that does not correspond to the product specifications for that protected designation of origin but contains an ingredient that does correspond to those specifications, such as ‘Champagner Sorbet’, does not constitute misuse, imitation or evocation within the meaning of those provisions.

Article 118m(2)(c) of Regulation No 1234/2007, as amended by Regulation No 491/2009, and Article 103(2)(c) of Regulation No 1308/2013 are to be interpreted as being applicable both to false or misleading indications which are liable to convey a false impression as to the geographical origin of the product concerned and to false or misleading indications relating to the nature or essential qualities of the product.


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