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Sprl Louis Erauw-Jacquery v. La Hesbignonne Sc.
European Union Court of Justice
1988 E.C.R. 1919 (1988)
Sprl Louis Erauw-Jacquery (Sprl) (plaintiff), an owner of plant breeders’ rights, licensed the right to propagate its seed and to sell or export first or second-generation seed resulting from that propagation to La Hesbignonne (defendant). Sprl’s licensing agreement set a minimum price at which all of its licensees, including La Hesbignonne, could sell and export their propagated seeds. Despite that agreement, La Hesbignonne sold seeds at a lower price than the minimum set by Sprl. Sprl argued that this obliged other licensees to sell their seeds at lower prices to remain competitive, incurring monetary losses for which they claimed compensation from Sprl. Sprl then sought relief in Belgium commercial court for the monetary losses. That court referred a question concerning the interpretation of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) to the European Court of Justice. Article 101 prohibited direct or indirect price-fixing agreements.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
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