Division 2 of the National Court of Appeals on Federal Civil and
Commercial Matters reversed the lower court's decision that had
admitted defendants' plea of lack of jurisdiction in re
"Christian Dior Couture S.A. v. Elbien S.A. and
others", and decided that the Argentine federal courts
had jurisdiction to hear the case.
Christian Dior Couture and Elbien S.A. had entered into several
license agreements regarding trademarks owned by the former, and
the validity of the said agreements was under discussion. Elbien
S.A., in turn, had sublicensed the use of the trademarks to two
other companies, Maximiliano S.A. and Compañía de
Christian Dior Couture filed a lawsuit seeking that Elbien S.A.,
Maximiliano S.A. and Compañía de Charly S.A.
discontinue the use of trademarks "CHRISTIAN DIOR",
"DIOR" and "CD" registered in international
class 25. Defendants filed a plea of lack of jurisdiction, arguing
that the case had to be decided by the French courts as the parties
had agreed on this jurisdiction in the trademark license
agreements, and further considering that there was a pending
lawsuit regarding such agreements before the French courts.
The appellate court held that since the case at hand was a
trademark infringement action, the courts with jurisdiction to hear
the case where those of the place where the infringement occurred,
regardless of the jurisdiction agreed on by the parties in the
license agreements. The court further considered that its decision
did not prevent the defendants from winning the case if they could
show that the license agreements were still in force, or that their
termination could not be used as a basis to take action.
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