Case C-231/16, Merck KGaA – a murky issue of jurisdiction

When a company starts to sue a group of companies for infringing its trade mark in one Member State but then sees them infringing its mark in a second Member State, can the company commence proceedings in the second state too? Or is the court in the second Member State stopped from hearing the case by dint of the barring phrase, ‘the same cause of action’, which is in Article 109(1)(a) of the EU’s ‘trade mark’ Regulation 207/2009? More

Case C-594/16, Buccioni – Dear Central Bank, Documents please. Regards, Mr E. Swindled

It is a mystery why banks fail: banks are regulated by a state’s central bank. In this case, a saver lost a lot of money in the 2012 Italian banking crash. Initial research suggested the central bank might indeed have done something wrong. Consequently, the saver asked it for specific documents so that he could calculate his legal position and assert his rights. His request was refused. The legal question is: was the central bank legally right to refuse his request? If so, the state could swindle the saver out of his money and his legal rights. More

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. More

Case C-397/16, Acacia – the replica wheel deal

Acacia makes replica car wheels that fit Audis, BMWs, or Porsches. However, Acacia has been sued in several EU Member States and the defences it has raised are now the subject of three different preliminary references; two are from the Italian courts, and one is from the German Supreme Court. The central legal questions are whether Acacia’s replica wheels infringe EU-protected ‘design’ rights, and which court is competent to hear such a dispute? More