29.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 189/7


Request for a preliminary ruling from the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (Netherlands) lodged on 18 April 2013 — Hauck GmbH & Co. KG v Stokke A/S and Others

(Case C-205/13)

2013/C 189/13

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Hoge Raad der Nederlanden

Parties to the main proceedings

Appellant: Hauck GmbH & Co. KG

Respondents: Stokke A/S, Stokke Nederland BV, Peter Opsvik, Peter Opsvik A/S

Questions referred

1.

(a)

Does the ground for refusal or invalidity in Article 3(1)(e)(i) of Directive 89/104/EEC, (1) as codified in Directive 2008/95/EC, (2) namely that shape trade marks may not consist exclusively of a shape which results from the nature of the goods themselves, refer to a shape which is indispensable to the function of the goods, or can it also refer to the presence of one or more substantial functional characteristics of goods which consumers may possibly look for in the goods of competitors?

(b)

If neither of those alternatives is correct, how should the provision then be interpreted?

2.

(a)

Does the ground for refusal or invalidity in Article 3(1)(e)(iii) of Directive 89/104/EEC, as codified in Directive 2008/95/EC, namely, that (shape) trade marks may not consist exclusively of a shape which gives substantial value to the goods, refer to the motive (or motives) underlying the relevant public’s decision to purchase?

(b)

Does a ‘shape which gives substantial value to the goods’ within the meaning of the aforementioned provision exist only if that shape must be considered to constitute the main or predominant value in comparison with other values (such as, in the case of high chairs for children, safety, comfort and reliability) or can it also exist if, in addition to that value, other values of the goods exist which are also to be considered substantial?

(c)

For the purpose of answering Questions 2(a) and 2(b), is the opinion of the majority of the relevant public decisive, or may the court rule that the opinion of a portion of the public is sufficient in order to take the view that the value concerned is ‘substantial’ within the meaning of the aforementioned provision?

(d)

If the latter option provides the answer to Question 2(c), what requirement should be imposed as to the size of the relevant portion of the public?

3.

Should Article 3(1) of Directive 89/104/EEC, as codified in Directive 2008/95/EC, be interpreted as meaning that the ground for exclusion referred to in subparagraph (e) of that article also exists if the shape trade mark consists of a sign to which the content of sub-subparagraph (i) of subparagraph (e) applies, and which, for the rest, satisfies the contents of sub-subparagraph (iii) of subparagraph (e)?


(1)  First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks (OJ 1989 L 40, p. 1).

(2)  Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks (Codified version) (OJ 2008 L 299, p. 25).