In a recent decision, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that owners of intellectual property rights have a standalone right to request information on infringements of their rights. This right can be exercised in proceedings outside of infringement proceedings, including in proceedings taken after an action for infringement has concluded.
This right is pursuant to the 2004 EU Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (the “Enforcement Directive”) and arose in the case of New Wave CZ v Alltoys.
The applicant in that case, New Wave, had previously been successful in an action against Alltoys for infringement of its intellectual property rights in the trade mark MEGABABE. Following the conclusion of those proceedings, New Wave sought and were refused information on the origin and distribution networks of the infringing goods.
New Wave issued a second set of proceedings against Alltoys in the Czech courts, which resulted in the Czech Supreme Court referring questions to the CJEU on the applicability of the Enforcement Directive. Specifically the Czech Supreme Court queried whether applicants are entitled to take new actions to request information against infringers following termination of the initial infringement proceedings.
The CJEU ruled that subsequent applications for information following termination of initial infringement proceedings are permitted, stressing that such a right was necessary to ensure a high level of protection of intellectual property rights within the EU.
The case will be welcomed by owners of intellectual property rights as it may offer additional avenues for protecting their rights.
Contributed by Charleen O’Keefe