Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2012] All ER (D) 65 (Jul)
Court: Court of Justice of the European Union (Fourth Chamber)

Judges Bonichot (President), Schiemann (Rapporteur), Bay Larsen, Toader and Jarasiunas

Judgment Dates: 21 June 2012


European Union - Intellectual property - Copyright - Reference for preliminary ruling - Furnishings - Applicant owning freight forwarding company in Italy which transported replicas of furnishings to German customers for third party company - Third party company not having licence to market goods in Germany - German district court finding applicant guilty of criminal offence of aiding and abetting prohibited commercial exploitation of copyright-protected works - German Federal Court of Justice staying applicant's appeal and referring question for preliminary ruling - Whether 'distribution to public' occurring for purposes of relevant directive - Whether member state precluded from bringing prosecution under national criminal law - Treaty on Functioning of European Union, arts 34, 36 - Directive (EC) 2001/29, art 4(1).

The Case

European Union Intellectual property. The Court of Justice of the European Communities (Fourth Chamber) made a preliminary ruling on whether in circumstances such as those of the main proceedings: (i) there was 'distribution to the public' under art 4(1) of Directive 2001-29 of the European Parliament and of the Council (on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society); and (ii) arts 34 and 36 of TFEU should be interpreted as precluding a member state from bringing a prosecution under national criminal law for the offence of aiding and abetting the prohibited distribution of copyright protected works in the circumstances of the instant case.

Practice Areas

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