Luxembourg, 1 September 2006
Appeal brought on 25 July 2006 by Galileo International Technology LLC, Galileo International LLC, Galileo Belgium SA, Galileo Danmark A/S, Galileo Deutschland GmbH, Galileo España, SA, Galileo France SARL, Galileo Nederland BV, Galileo Nordiska AB, Galileo Portugal Ltd, Galileo Sigma Srl, Galileo International Ltd, The Galileo Company, Timas Ltd (trading as Galileo Ireland) against the judgment delivered on 10 May 2006 in Case T-9/03 Galileo International Technology LLC and Others v Commission of the European Communities
(Case C-325/06 PP)
Language of the case: French
Appellants: Galileo International Technology LLC, Galileo International LLC, Galileo Belgium SA, Galileo Danmark A/S, Galileo Deutschland GmbH, Galileo España, SA, Galileo France SARL, Galileo Nederland BV, Galileo Nordiska AB, Galileo Portugal Ltd, Galileo Sigma Srl, Galileo International Ltd, The Galileo Company, Timas Ltd (trading as Galileo Ireland) (represented by: J.-N. Louis and C. Delcorde, avocats)
Other party to the proceedings: Commission of the European Communities
Form of order sought
- Set aside in its entirety the judgment of the Court of First Instance (Second Chamber, Extended Composition) of 10 May 2006 in Case T-9/03 Galileo and Others v Commission of the European Communities.
- Adjudicate on the basis of new provisions, and
I. (a) Prohibit the Commission from making any use of the word Galileo in connection with the satellite radio navigation system project and order it to cease to induce, directly or indirectly, any third parties whomsoever to use that word in connection with that project and, last, prohibit it from participating in any way whatsoever in the use of that word by a third party.
(b) Order the Commission to pay the applicants, jointly and severally, the sum of EUR 50 million by way of compensation for the material harm sustained.
II. In the alternative,
In the event that the Commission should persist in using the word Galileo, order it to pay the applicants the sum of EUR 240 million.
III. Order the Commission to pay the applicants, with effect from the date of introduction of the present application, default interest calculated by reference to the reference rate of the ECB plus 2 percentage points from the date on which the formal letter of 30 April 2001 was sent.
IV. Order the defendant to pay the costs.
Pleas in law and main arguments
By their appeal, the appellants rely on the error which, in their submission, the Court of First Instance made in making the supply of goods or services on the market by the owner of the trade mark a condition of recognition of the breach of its rights within the meaning of Article 9(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on the Community trade mark (1) and Article 5(1) of Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks. (2)
They then challenge the restrictive interpretation of the concept of 'us[e] in the course of a trade', in that that concept necessarily envisages an activity of a commercial nature. In the applicants' submission, the judgment of the Court of First Instance is also vitiated by contradictions on a number of points, in particular as regards the commercial or non-commercial purpose of the 'Galileo' project and the certain or foreseeable nature of the harm.
The appellants also criticise the Court of First Instance for having failed to adjudicate in a satisfactory manner on the arguments alleging harm to their trade and company names and for having ignored the fact that Article 8 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 20 March 1883, last revised at Stockholm on 14 July 1967 and amended on 28 September 1979, (3) constitutes a binding minimum basis.
Last, the appellants criticise the Court of First Instance for having disregarded the rules applicable to the liability of the Commission for an unlawful act. They maintain that a trade mark right is a right of appropriation and not a right of creation.
1 - OJ 1994 L 11, p. 1.
2 - OJ 1989 L 40, p. 1.
3 - United Nations Treaty Series, Vol. 828, No 11847, p. 108.