0370 270 6000

Court of Appeal sheds Sun-light on M-Tech's Euro-defences

27 August 2010

Oracle (formally Sun Microsystems) brought infringement proceedings against M-Tech for importing disk drives (bearing the SUN trade marks) without its consent into the European Economic Area (EEA) that had been first marketed outside the EEA. Under European trade mark law, putting goods on the market in the EEA without the trade mark owner’s consent amounts to trade mark infringement.

Oracle deliberately does not publish information about whether its goods have first been sold in the EEA, making it virtually impossible for re-sellers to know where the goods were first marketed. This acts as a deterrent to the importation of Oracle hardware generally, regardless of place of first marketing.

M-Tech said Oracle’s policy was contrary to European competition law but the High Court granted summary judgment in Oracle’s favour. The decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal who decided that M-Tech had a real prospect of success with its so called “Euro-defences”.

M-Tech still needs to establish those arguments in order to win its case and we could be waiting some time for an answer, given that a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Communities looks likely.

Related opinions

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up