How do we refer to CJEU cases now? A Kat's lament

This Kat has spotted something that surprised him on the Curia website. When browsing Case C‑97/12 P, Louis Vuitton Malletier v OHIM, a 15 May ruling of Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on registrability of an illustration of a lock for goods which either did or didn't have locks, he noticed that some of the cases cited in the CJEU's judgment had odd-looking citations for reference purposes. For example:
Case C‑136/02 P, Mag Instrument v OHIM used to be [2004] ECR I‑9165 but it's now EU:C:2004:592

Case C‑25/05 P, Storck v OHIM used to be [2006] I-5719 but it's now EU:C:2006:422

Case C‑106/03 P, Vedial v OHIM used to be [2004] ECR I-9573 but it's now EU:C:2004:611
He was a bit disconcerted by this, for a number of reasons, including these:
  • He's not sure what happened to the old citations and wonders if they're still valid
  • It's not immediately apparent as to whether there is any correspondence between the old citations and the new ones, and it rather looks as though there isn't any
  • He has spotted a case -- Case C-521/12 P Bimbo SA v OHIM, Panrico SA -- in which the Advocate General used the old citations while the judgment cited the new ones
  • Editors of journals, authors of books, articles and case notes, students and researchers have received no guidance as to what to do when citing decisions
  • Even Thomson Reuters, the illustrious publishers of the European Trade Mark Reports, had no idea that this was happening
  • No-one asked Merpel's permission
  • It isn't known whether cases cited in argument before the CJEU must be cited in the new form only
  • As of today, the General Court appears to be using the traditional mode of citation only, if Case T-62/13 Golam v OHIM, Glaxo (METABIOMAX) is typical.
Can any kind reader please explain?
How do we refer to CJEU cases now? A Kat's lament How do we refer to CJEU cases now? A Kat's lament Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. New method of citing the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the basis of the ECLI

  2. This is what happens when you vote for UKIP!

  3. Jeremy,

    It seems that the CJEU has finally adopted the European Case Law Identifier.

    From the abstract of the cited link:

    In December 2010 the EU Council of Ministers decided on the ‘Conclusions inviting the introduction of the European Case Law Id entifier (ECLI) and a minimum set of uniform metadata for case law.

    I've seen the ECLI scheme being progressively adopted by various instances, including the EPO Boards of Appeals. (This is curious, as the EPOrg is not linked to the EU, and when I first noticed these numbers more than a year ago I couldn't find any formal decision or announcement in the OJ).

    A typical EPO ECLI:


    There is also at least one general paper on the subject.

  4. Thanks so much, Mathieu! This is really helpful

  5. Marc van Opijnen, "European Case Law Identifier: Indispensable Asset for Legal Information Retrieval" does a good job of explaining the background :

  6. Not the mention the sweet "ECJ" replace by "CJEU". Try and pronounce this. Not smooth, I'm telling you. -Inga Mai


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.