IP case law Court of Justice

Referral C-53/20 (Hengstenberg, 3 Feb 2020)



In the procedure for a non-minor amendment of the specification, can any actual or potential — provided that it is not entirely implausible - economic effect on a natural or legal person be sufficient to establish the existence of the legitimate interest, within the meaning of Article 53(2), first subparagraph, in conjunction with Article 49(3), first subparagraph, and (4), second subparagraph, 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, that is necessary for the purposes of an opposition to the application or an appeal against the favourable decision on the application?

If Question 1 is answered in the negative:

In the procedure for a non-minor amendment of the specification, does a legitimate interest within the meaning of Article 53(2), first subparagraph, in conjunction with Article 49(3), first subparagraph, and (4), second subparagraph, of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 lie (only) with operators that produce products or foodstuffs comparable to those of operators for which a protected geographical indication is registered?

If Question 2 is answered in the negative:

a) As regards the requirements governing a legitimate interest within the meaning of Article 49(3), first subparagraph, and (4), second subparagraph, of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, must a distinction be drawn between the registration procedure under Articles 49 to 52 of Regulation 1151/2012, on the one hand, and the procedure for amending the specification under Article 53 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, on the other, and,

b) in the procedure for a non-minor amendment of the specification, does a legitimate interest within the meaning of Article 53(2), first subparagraph, in conjunction with Article 49(3), first subparagraph, and (4), second subparagraph, of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 lie only with producers that produce or specifically intend to produce products in the geographical area which comply with the product specification, so that ‘non-local’ operators are automatically excluded from claiming a legitimate interest?


Case details on the CJEU website (external link)


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