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Document 62001CJ0216

Summary of the Judgment

Judgment of the Court of 18 November 2003.
Budéjovický Budvar, národní podnik v Rudolf Ammersin GmbH.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Handelsgericht Wien - Austria.
Protection of geographical indications and designations of origin - Bilateral convention between a Member State and a non-member country protecting indications of geographical source from that non-member country - Articles 28 EC and 30 EC - Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 - Article 307 EC - Succession of States in respect of treaties.
Case C-216/01.

Keywords
Summary

Keywords

1. Agriculture — Uniform laws — Protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs — Matters covered by Regulation No 2081/92 — Provision of a bilateral agreement between a Member State and a non-member country protecting a simple and indirect indication of geographical origin — Not covered — ( Council Regulation No 2081/92, Art. 2(2)(b))

2. Free movement of goods — Quantitative restrictions — Measures having equivalent effect — Provision of a bilateral agreement between a Member State and a non-member country protecting a simple and indirect indication of geographical origin — Justification — Condition — Lack of generic nature — ( Arts 28 EC and 30 EC)

3. Free movement of goods — Quantitative restrictions — Measures having equivalent effect — Provision of a bilateral agreement between a Member State and a non-member country protecting a name without direct or indirect connection to the country of geographical origin — Not permissible — (Art. 28 EC)

4. International agreements — Agreements concluded by Member States — Agreements predating the EC Treaty — Provision of bilateral agreements concluded between a Member State and a non-member country contrary to the Treaty — Application by the court of the Member State — Whether permissible — Obligation to eliminate any incompatibilities between a prior agreement and the Treaty — (Art. 307, first and second paras, EC)

Summary

1. Regulation No 2081/92 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs, as amended by Regulation No 535/97, does not preclude the application of a provision of a bilateral agreement between a Member State and a non-member country under which a simple and indirect indication of geographical origin from that non-member country is accorded protection in the importing Member State, whether or not there is any risk of consumers being misled, and the import of a product lawfully marketed in another Member State may be prevented.

see paras 78, 103, operative part 1

2. Articles 28 EC and 30 EC do not preclude the application of a provision of a bilateral agreement between a Member State and a non-member country, under which a simple and indirect indication of geographical origin from that non-member country is accorded protection in the importing Member State, whether or not there is any risk of consumers being misled, and the import of a product lawfully marketed in another Member State may be prevented, provided that the protected name has not, either at the date of the entry into force of that agreement or subsequently, become generic in the State of origin.

see paras 102-103, operative part 1

3. Article 28 EC precludes the application of a provision of a bilateral agreement between a Member State and a non-member country under which a name which in that country does not directly or indirectly refer to the geographical source of the product that it designates is accorded protection in the importing Member State, whether or not there is any risk of consumers being misled, and the import of a product lawfully marketed in another Member State may be prevented.

see para. 111, operative part 2

4. The first paragraph of Article 307 EC is to be interpreted as permitting a court of a Member State, subject to the findings to be made by that court having regard inter alia as to whether the Member State and the non-member country showed that they intended to apply the principle of the continuity of treaties to the bilateral instruments at issue, to apply the provisions of bilateral agreements concluded between that State and a non-member country and according protection to a name from the non-member country, even where those provisions prove to be contrary to the Treaty rules, on the ground that they concern an obligation resulting from agreements concluded before the date of the accession of the Member State concerned to the European Union. Pending the success of one of the methods referred to in the second paragraph of Article 307 EC in eliminating any incompatibilities between an agreement predating that accession and the Treaty, the first paragraph of that article permits that State to continue to apply such an agreement in so far as it contains obligations which remain binding on that State under international law.

see paras 164, 173, operative part 3

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