Language of document :

Judgment of the Court (First Chamber) of 16 July 2015 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden — Netherlands) — Diageo Brands BV v Simiramida-04 EOOD

(Case C-681/13) 1

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 — Recognition and enforcement of judgments — Grounds for refusing enforcement — Infringement of public policy in the State in which recognition is sought — Judgment given by a court in another Member State contrary to EU law on trade marks — Directive 2004/48/EC — Enforcement of intellectual property rights — Legal costs)

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Hoge Raad der Nederlanden

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Diageo Brands BV

Defendant: Simiramida-04 EOOD

Operative part of the judgment

1.    Article 34(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that the fact that a judgment given in a Member State is contrary to EU law does not justify that judgment’s not being recognised in another Member State on the grounds that it infringes public policy in that State where the error of law relied on does not constitute a manifest breach of a rule of law regarded as essential in the EU legal order and therefore in the legal order of the Member State in which recognition is sought or of a right recognised as being fundamental in those legal orders. That is not the case of an error affecting the application of a provision such as Article 5(3) of Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992.

When determining whether there is a manifest breach of public policy in the State in which recognition is sought, the court of that State must take account of the fact that, save where specific circumstances make it too difficult, or impossible, to make use of the legal remedies in the Member State of origin, the individuals concerned must avail themselves of all the legal remedies available in that Member State with a view to preventing such a breach before it occurs.

2.    Article 14 of Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights must be interpreted as applying to the legal costs incurred by the parties in the context of an action for damages, brought in a Member State, to compensate for the injury caused as a result of a seizure carried out in another Member State, which was intended to prevent an infringement of an intellectual property right, when, in connection with that action, a question arises concerning the recognition of a judgment given in that other Member State declaring that seizure to be unjustified.


1 OJ C 71, 8.3.2014.