For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 6 March 2009

"Direct and individual concern" and domain names

He's trying to be a very big and grown-up Kat, but the IPKat is feeling extremely miffed about the fact that a hugely interesting Order emanated from the Court of Justice of the European Communities on 17 December and (i) it only seems to have come to light very recently and (ii) it's available in only 11 official languages of the European Union -- including Maltese -- but NOT English.  


Right: Galileo, once an astronomer and mathematician, now a .eu domain name

Refusing to be daunted by the continued scandal of ECJ translation policy, the IPKat summoned up the assistance of charming, dynamic polyglot European legal scholar Chiara Ortolani, educated at the University of Bologna and now spending a little time in London as an Erasmus Scholar under the ever-hospitable roof of Olswang. Chiara, as her name and background suggests, both speaks and reads Italian. So let her tell us what Case C‑483/07 P, Galileo Lebensmittel GmbH v Commission of the European Community, is all about:
"The European Court of Justice recently been asked to solve a dispute about Regulations 733/02 and 874/04 on the implementation of the .eu Top Level Domain (TLD).  Article 9 of Regulation 874/04 provides that the Commission may ask the Registry to introduce domain names directly under the .eu TLD for use by the Community institutions and bodies. Using this right, on 7 November 2005 the Commission asked the Registry for registration of the domain name "galileo.eu". On 1 December 2005, Galileo Lebensmittel GmbH & Co. KG asked the Registry for the registration of the domain name "galileo.eu". Applying Article 9 of Regulation 874/04 the Registry rfused to accept that application and, on 2 February 2006, informed the applicant that the requested domain name had been reserved to the Commission.
Galileo Lebensmittel then brought proceedings before the Court of First Instance, alleging breach of the right provided by Article 10(1) of Regulation 874/04, which stipulates that holders of prior rights shall be eligible to apply to register domain names during a period of phased registration before general registration of .eu domain started. The Court declared the claim inadmissible because the claimant lacked a direct concern according to Article 230  EU, which states that any legal or natural person may institute proceedings against a decision addressed to that person or against a decision which, although in the form of a regulation or a decision addressed to another person, is of direct and individual concern to the former. 
Galileo Lebensmittel appealed, but the Court of Justice confirmed the previous decision and declared inadmissible the appeal, agreeing with the lack of a direct and individual concern to the former.
The definition of "direct and individual concern" is still a live issue, but the ruling of the Court of First Instance was consistent with the trend shown in several earlier Court of Justice decisions which stated that a concern is "direct" and individual" when the former is a member of a small group of economic players affected by the decision and can demonstrate that it is protected by a specific form of protection. While Galileo based their argument on the economic damage they would suffer because of the exclusive reservation of the "galileo.eu" domain name in favour of the Commission, especially as they had registered the corresponding trade mark GALILEO, both the Court of First Instance and the Court of Justice considered that Galileo had not demonstrated a genuine interest and concern in the contested decision".
The IPKat doesn't know why businesses waste their time and effort trying to protect their interest in names, logos etc that the various organs of European governance subsequently wish to purloin. The battle over the Euro sign -- suspiciously similar to an earlier logo registered for financial services (the Kat thinks, writing from memory: readers, help!) -- ended the same way. It'll only end in tears .. . but Merpel has a better idea -- split the name! Since the guy's name is Galileo Galilei, why doesn't one entity use galileo.eu and the other use galilei.eu?

Galileo cat sites here and here
Schroedinger's cat here and here

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Euro sign case was Travelex Global and Financial Services Ltd and anor -v.- Commission of the European Communities (Case T-195/00), 10 April 2003.

Anonymous said...

The Euro symbol episode is neatly summarised at the bottom of this page on the Jenkins website:
http://www.jenkins.eu/mym-autumn-2003/snippets.asp

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