Article 90(1) of the Community Designs Regulation provides that the courts of the Member States which have jurisdiction to order provisional or protective measures in respect of a national design shall also have jurisdiction to order such measures in respect of a Community design: use of the word 'including' confirms that it does not necessarily have to be a specialised court; legislator has made requirements of proximity and efficiency prevail over the objective of specialization.
Article 81 of the Community Designs Regulation provides that the Member States shall designate in their territories one or more "Community design courts" which shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear certain actions relating to infringement and validity of Community designs. For the purpose of carrying out that task, the Netherlands has assigned that exclusive jurisdiction to the District Court of The Hague. Article 90 of the Community Designs Regulation states that provisional and protective measures may be applied for before the courts of a Member State, including Community design courts.
In the Spin Master case, the interim relief judge of the District Court of Amsterdam declared itself competent in an action for provisional and protective measures in respect of infringement of a Community design for playballs. The Procurator General of the Supreme Court subsequently pointed out that within Dutch case law there are different opinions on the question whether the judge in preliminary relief proceedings of courts other than the District Court of The Hague have jurisdiction to order provisional and protective measures in such disputes, and has appealed against the judgment of the preliminary relief judge in cassation "in the interest of the law".
Within this context, the Supreme Court has asked the Court for a preliminary ruling on whether Article 90 (1) of the Community Designs Regulation is to be interpreted as meaning that it confers on all the courts of a Member State mentioned therein the power to order provisional and protective measures or that it leaves the Member States free - wholly or partly - to confer the jurisdiction to order such measures exclusively on the courts designated as Community design courts pursuant to Article 80 (1).
The Court rules: Article 90(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 on Community designs must be interpreted as meaning that the courts and tribunals of the Member States with jurisdiction to order provisional measures, including protective measures, in respect of a national design also have jurisdiction to order such measures in respect of a Community design.
C-678/18 - ECLI:EU:C:2019:998