The Early Beginnings of the Average Consumer Pre Sabel
Since Cassis de Dijon from 1979, the Court of Justice issued many decisions dealing with consumer perception vis-à-vis free movement of goods, and how well consumers can look after themselves in the marketplace. These decisions culminated with the Court of Justice setting out the “modern” average consumer in European trademark law in Sabel in 1997. These early decisions show the inconsistent development of the average consumer and its nature relevant to the analysis in this book.
Before Sabel, particularly the Court of Justice used the term average consumer inconsistently, partly caused by the different language versions of its decisions. This chapter contests the finding by some that the Court of Justice first referred to the average consumer in Germany v. Commission 1992 or other decisions, since the first reference to the average consumer was found in Van Bennekom from 1983. On an individual level, Mancini and Gulmann could have significantly impacted the development of the “modern” average consumer due to their role as Advocates General and judges in some of the earlier decisions and as judges in Sabel and Lloyd.