Summer Seminar: An Aura of Luxury: Judicial Reasoning in Case C-230/16 Coty Germany v Parfümerie Akzente


Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 316, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

Each summer, the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law organizes a series of seminars to promote research of students from McGill and elsewhere. Attendance is open to all. For more information, email centre.crepeau [at]

Speaker: Ryan Yevcak (McGill University)

Recent case law in competition law involving selective distribution systems has tended to follow the increased protections afforded to manufacturers in intellectual property law. As a result, I explore the idea of the law luxuriating itself in response to the demands of the consumer goods industry. I argue that intellectual property has influenced the European Union’s understanding and reasoning of competition law, specifically that of selective distribution systems and vertical agreements.

In interpreting justifications for luxury goods, beyond the connections made with trade mark law and authors’ rights, I contend that the concept of goodwill, as understood in the tort of passing off, has influenced the Court of Justice of the European Union’s judicial reasoning in Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente to justify restricted measures within vertical agreements. I contend that by interpreting the notion of goodwill, the Court of Justice of the European Union would be better able to formulate an adaptable model to protect brand image without binding this protection to property rights. Reconstituting competition law to recognise the value of goodwill would reduce the reliance on restrictive property measures and the need for registering said property while granting rights for authors/creators and providing legal remedies over their created goods.