The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf is requesting a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to determine the conditions under which a German subsidiary of a company seated outside of the EU may qualify as an establishment of that company within the meaning of Art. 97(1) CTMR to establish EU-wide jurisdiction of the national courts. boesling IP represents the claimant.
According to Art. 97(1) CTMR, Community trademark courts have EU-wide jurisdiction in the Member State where the defendant is domiciled or, if the defendant is not domiciled in any of the Member States, in which it has an establishment. However, the CTMR does not provide a definition of the term ‚establishment’. Specifically, neither the CTMR nor previous rulings of the CJEU provide clear guidance as to whether a subsidiary may qualify as an establishment if it is a legal person.
boesling IP represents Danish sportswear company Hummel, bringing EU-wide claims for trademark infringement before the Community trademark courts in Düsseldorf against a US-based competitor. The District Court (Landgericht) of Düsseldorf concurred with the claimant’s view that the defendant’s German subsidiary is an establishment of the corporate parent although the subsidiary is incorporated as a GmbH (limited liability company) under German law. The Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Düsseldorf is now seeking a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union to determine under which conditions an EU-subsidiary of a company seated outside of the EU may qualify as a establishment within the meaning of the CTMR (Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, order of 16 November 2015, case no. I-20 U 68/15). The ruling of the CJEU may define the scope of international jurisdiction of the national courts in both Community trademark and Community design infringement proceedings for years to come.
boesling IP is an intellectual property litigation boutique. The firm represents German and international clients from IP-dominated industries including fashion and sportswear, software, social media, medical technology and dental care in national and cross-border litigation as well as before the German and international intellectual property offices.