Case C-498/16, Schrems – a Facebook consumer or simply in the business of privacy?

This case concerns a person with a Facebook account. He uses it not only to exchange private photographs and chat with about 250 friends but also for publicity purposes. The legal issue is whether this latter activity stops him from qualifying as a ‘consumer’. The definition matters because if he is a consumer, then he and several thousand other Austrians who are aggrieved at Facebook’s use of their personal data will be able to sue in the Austrian courts.

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Case C-267/16, Buhagiar – Gibraltar, guns and the constitutional order

The Supreme Court of Gibraltar has made its first preliminary reference to the CJEU, and the burning issue is the free movement of hunters’ firearms.

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Case C-169/15, Montis Design – EU copyright and Benelux design formalities, a game of musical chairs?

When a company owns the Benelux rights in the design of a chair but then it fails to maintain the registration of its Benelux rights under Benelux law, can a rival company still be stopped from making similar chairs because of the links between the old Benelux law and current EU law? More specifically, what is the relationship between Benelux rights and the EU’s ‘term of protection’ Directive 93/98/EEC?

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Case C-24/16, Nintendo – jurisdiction by design

Nintendo is suing companies in the German courts for the alleged infringement of its design rights. However, the German courts wonder if they have jurisdiction to decide the case and the scope of any measures they might impose. The first problem is that the German defendant is only a subsidiary and its parent company is domiciled in France. The second problem is that although the defendant’s website has images on it that correspond to Nintendo’s design rights, these have been put there so that consumers know immediately that the defendant’s goods can be used in Nintendo’s games consoles.

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Case C-698/15, Davis – did the CJEU in Digital Rights Ireland intend to lay down mandatory requirements of EU law?

In 2006, the EU’s ‘data retention’ Directive 2006/24/EC required telecoms companies to store data traffic. In its Digital Rights Ireland judgment of 2014, the CJEU annulled the Directive because the Directive was incompatible with the EU Charter. Six national courts have subsequently declared their national data retention laws to be invalid. However, in other Member States legal uncertainty surrounds what the CJEU actually decided and the legal effects that flow from it. In that context, a Swedish court has already made a preliminary reference to the CJEU. Now, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales has decided to make its own preliminary reference.

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Case C-530/15, Melitta France – card core, hardcore packaging law

Inside a roll of toilet paper is a cardboard core. Does this internal element form part of the toilet paper’s packaging? It is a question which has stymied the French courts. The answer depends on the word ‘packaging’ which is found in the EU’s ‘packaging and packaging waste’ Directive 94/62/EC. If the answer is that the cardboard core does constitute packaging, then potential casualties of the CJEU’s ruling will not just be France’s toilet-paper makers but also France’s manufacturers of absorbent kitchen paper, aluminium foil, and even cling film. However, if the answer is no, then the Conseil d’État would like to know whether the EU Commission has acted ultra vires when enacting an ancilliary packaging Directive that has expanded the definition of ‘packaging’ still further. Many millions of euro are at stake.

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Case C-610/15, Stichting Brein – seeking website blocks to stop peer to peer technology

People may use telecoms networks to pass information to each other. Some websites such as that run by The Pirate Bay allow people to download software that enables them to pass small pieces of information around a telecoms network. The question in this case is whether a Dutch court can order telecoms companies to block their customers’ access to websites like The Pirate Bay in order to stop presumed copyright infringement from taking place.

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Case C-526/15, Uber Belgium – facilitating a mobility service not a taxi service

Do occasional private car drivers who use Uber’s software and get paid to take people on journeys but who do not receive remuneration or a wage, provide a taxi service requiring a license?

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