Focus on the automotive industry: Community Design protection of alloy wheel rims and the Repair Clause

By Roman Brtka


On 20 December 2017 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its judgement in a long-standing case regarding the protection of alloy wheel rims and the scope of the repair clause. The Corte d’appello di Milano (Court of Appeal, Milan, Italy) and the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, Germany) had made requests for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Article 110(1) of the Community Design Right Regulation (CDRR); the so called “repair clause”.

The underlying legal question – whether the repair clause applies to wheel rims – has kept the national courts busy over the last couple of years.

In a nutshell: The protection of spare parts by Community Designs 

Community Design Law recognises, in principle, two kinds of spare parts - "must fit" and "must match" spare parts.

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