US secondary sanctions: The Court of Justice interprets the EU Blocking Statute
On 21 December 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a long-awaited judgment on the interpretation of the EU Blocking Statute in C-124/20, Bank Melli. Although the ruling does not dispel all doubts, it does set the direction for interpretation and shows that even imperfect regulations must be applied.
Should the appearance of a bicycle be subject to copyright protection?
A typical bicycle has two wheels of equal size, handlebars, a frame, and a chain drive for the rear wheel. But do individual bicycle models deserve copyright protection? And if so, what factors determine whether they are granted such protection? These questions were addressed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in a judgment delivered on 11 June 2020.
Testarossa: The ins and outs of genuine use of a trademark
Does the sale of replacement parts and accessories for Testarossa cars and used Testarossas qualify as genuine use of the Testarossa trademark? If so, is the mark used only for high-priced luxury sports cars, or for the whole category of cars?
The shape of Ritter Sport, and other chocolate disputes
On 23 July 2020, the ten-year dispute over the square packaging of Ritter Sport chocolate ended. The proceedings were held in Germany, but the decision may provide guidance to courts of other states on how to interpret the notion that shape can add significant value to a product.
What will YouTube not tell you about an intellectual property infringer?
For years, film distributors have been fighting against illegal sharing of movies on the internet. The enforcement of rights before the courts is hampered in particular by the functioning of the platforms on which the films are posted, including the users’ relative anonymity. In a recent judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union held that YouTube and Google are not obliged to turn over data to holders of IP rights allowing them to identify users who have infringed their rights. Which data? More below.
End of the road for the secondary market in e-books and video games?
In recent months, perhaps more than ever, life has moved online. Some people spend their time reading e-books or playing video games. Can they later resell or exchange such “used” works? A recent ruling by the Court of Justice throws into doubt the secondary trading in digital goods.
Must car-rental companies pay royalties to collective management organisations?
If a rental car is equipped with a radio, should the rental company pay royalties to a collective rights management organisation? The Court of Justice recently addressed this issue.
Is a warehouse operator responsible for storing counterfeits?
The CJEU held that a company that only stores goods without knowing they are counterfeits does not infringe trademarks. So can logistics operators sleep easy? Not really.
If you use a trademark in Spain, you are also using it in the European Union
Genuine use of a trademark in the EU as a whole may be proved in certain circumstances by showing use of the mark in a single member state.
In-house procurement may not be compatible with EU law
The award of an in-house procurement satisfying the conditions laid down in Art. 12(1)(a)–(c) of Directive 2014/24/EU is not necessarily consistent with European Union law, the Court of Justice of the European Union held in the judgment of 3 October 2019 in Case C-285/18, Kauno miesto savivaldybè. This ruling is not controversial, nor does it change the principles developed over the years for excluding internal procurement from the regime of the procurement directives. Nonetheless, it gives contractors an additional argument for challenging contracting authorities’ decisions ignoring such basic principles as transparency.
ECJ ruling on FX mortgage loans in Poland: Is it really a breakthrough?
One of the most critical issues captivating banks and their retail borrowers in recent years in Poland has been the future of foreign currency loans, especially those denominated in or indexed to Swiss francs. After the political battle around such loans has settled, the issue is now mainly addressed in court proceedings between borrowers and creditors. A long-awaited judgment was issued by the European Court of Justice on 3 October 2019 and has already been followed by judgments of local Polish courts. Putting aside myths and hopes, we look closer at what may be the actual consequences of the ECJ ruling for all interested parties: borrowers and both primary and secondary creditors.
Type of trademark and evaluation of its genuine use
The Court of Justice has finally resolved the case of an EU trademark displaying an X on the side of a sports shoe. The German company Deichmann SE sought revocation of the registration, claiming there was no genuine use of the mark.