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Comment on the Judgment of the Danish Supreme Court Decision – Coop v. K.H. Würtz, Case 171/2017

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  1. 1.

    The present comment draws on the Danish-language comment by Jørgen Blomqvist and Morten Rosenmeier in Nordiskt Immateriellt Rättskydd (forthcoming) where detailed references to Danish and Nordic case law and literature may be found. For a translation of this decision into English see this issue of IIC at

  2. 2.

    All illustrations of the uses are found in the (Danish-language) version of the judgment available at the Supreme Court’s webpage; see

  3. 3.

    Coop also claimed that the suit was statute-barred. In addition, the case involved the issues of infringement of the Danish Marketing Practices Act. These issues are not discussed in the following where focus is on the copyright questions.

  4. 4.

    Michel M. Walther and Silke von Lewinski, European Copyright Law, a Commentary, 2010, Oxford University Press, Oxford p. 1053.

  5. 5.

    The question whether limitations based on a legal practice must be covered by Art. 5 InfoSoc Directive is discussed in detail below in Sect. 6.

  6. 6.

    See Rosenmeier and Blomqvist, supra note 1 with references.

  7. 7.


  8. 8.

    Supra note 1.

  9. 9.

    This particular category has been stated to find support in Sec. 23(3) DKCA on the use of “subordinate importance” in newspapers, periodicals, films and television.

  10. 10.

    See e.g. the decision from the Swedish Supreme Court reported in Nordiskt Immateriellet Rättskydd 2016, p. 305 ff.

  11. 11.

    E.g. C-117/13 (Ulmer); C-527/15 (Filmspeler) para. 62 f.; and C-265/16 (VCAST) para. 31 f. See also C-435/12 (Stichting de Thuiskopie) para. 20 ff.

  12. 12.

    See e.g. C-145/10 (Painer) para. 129 ff.; and C-469/17 (Funke Medien) in particular para. 49.

  13. 13.

    C-476/17 (Pelham), para. 63.

  14. 14.

    See, for example, Art. 31(3)(b) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties regarding the role of subsequent practice in the interpretation of treaties.

  15. 15.

    See Jacob Linkis, Dansk Ophavsrets Fleksibilitet, Copenhagen 2016 p. 103 f.

  16. 16.

    C-469/17 (Funke Medien) at 47; C-516/17 (Spiegel Online) at 32 f.

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Correspondence to Jørgen Blomqvist.

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Blomqvist, J., Rosenmeier, M. & Schovsbo, J. Comment on the Judgment of the Danish Supreme Court Decision – Coop v. K.H. Würtz, Case 171/2017. IIC 51, 128–136 (2020).

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