On 6 October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") issued a preliminary ruling in the case between Ford Motor Company and Wheeltrims srl (C-500/14). The CJEU decided that the "repair clause" contained in the designs regulations could not limit the trade mark protection that existed.
Ford Motor Company ("Ford") is a well-known manufacturer of vehicles, spare parts and car accessories. Its goods are marked with its trade marks ("Ford Trade Marks").
6 The repair clause (Art 110 of the Community Design Regulation 6/2002) provides: "Until such time as Amendments to this Regulation enter into force on a proposal from the Commission on this subject, protection as a Community design shall not exist for a design which constitutes a component part of a complex product used within the meaning of Article 19(1) for the purpose of the repair of that complex product so as to restore its original appearance."