Lost in translation...? P.S. to L'Oréal v Bellure

Admittedly rather confused by the English translation of the Advocate General Mengozzi's recommendation in Case C-487/07 L'Oréal SA, Lancôme parfums et beauté & Cie SNC, Laboratoire Garnier & Cie v Bellure NV, Malaika Investments Ltd, trading as "Honey pot cosmetic & Perfumery Sales"), Starion International, this German Kat has had a look at the German version of the Advocate General's opinion and found that it was a trifle easier to understand.

As such, this Kat offers the IPKat's readers the following alternative -- if definitely unofficial --translation of the Advocate General's opinion concerning (3) Article 3a(1)(h) of Directive 84/450 (para 112):

(3) Article 3a(1)(h) of Directive 84/450, as amended ..., must be interpreted as meaning that:

– it prohibits an advertisement/advertising message which alludes, explicitly or by implication, also bearing in mind the economic context in which the advertisement is integrated, to the fact that the advertiser’s product has been manufactured in such a way that it imitates or reproduces a product - even restricted to one or more of its essential characteristics - which is protected by another person’s mark; and,

– as such, it [Article 3a(1)(h)] does not already by itself prohibit an advertisement because it includes the statement/declaration that the advertiser’s product possesses an essential characteristic that is identical with that of a product which is protected by a -- possibly well-known -- trade mark.

  • To read the German version of the Advocate General's opinion, please click here.
  • The French version can be accessed here, other versions available are in Spanish; Danish; Latvian; Dutch; Portuguese; Finnish and Swedish.
  • There does not appear to be an Italian version - even though this is the original language of the opinion. Is the IPKat looking in the wrong place?
Lost in translation...? P.S. to L'Oréal v Bellure Lost in translation...? P.S. to L'Oréal v Bellure Reviewed by Birgit Clark on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Hmm - I can't see the problem, but it is late in the evening here.

  2. I can see the problem and I hope the ECJ will decide differently!!! I don't understand half of what the AG has written.

  3. Maybe the delay in publishing the opinion online was due to last minute works on the translations? If there really is no Italian version then that is just plain weird.

  4. I just read an ebulletin saying that it is 'very good news for brand owners and very bad news for look-alikes'. Really? Not sure I agree that the AG should be applauded here.

  5. Everyone at yesterday's IBIL Brands Seminar seemed to be confused by the Adv. Gen.!

  6. I can imagine the opinion as a whole is confusing, I just meant I can't see the problem in these lines (apart from 'restricted to one or more').

    But there isn't much point discussing with 1 - 4 anonymous commenters! They might at least give themselves pseudonyms so one could tell how many they are.


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