Case C-681/16, Pfizer Ireland – Specific Mechanism suppresses drug circulation

The internal market in pharmaceuticals can be partitioned by EU law. For example, the EU’s ‘Specific Mechanism’ will sometimes allow patent holders to stop the import of drugs into the ‘old’ Member States from the ‘new’ Member States, where prices are markedly lower. In this case, the drug company patent holder Pfizer wants to stop cheap imports of a psoriasis and arthritis drug from entering into Germany – and to that end, it has invoked the Specific Mechanism. In contrast, the importer contends that the Specific Mechanism does not apply; consequently, the EU principle of the free movement of goods should be allowed to operate. More

Case C-683/16, Deutscher Naturschutzring – stop German fishing boats scraping the bottom

Even if Article 3(1)(d) TFEU gives the EU an exclusive competence over the common fisheries policy, then can a Member State still enact laws to stop boats from bottom-trawling by virtue of EU environmental law? More

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-537/16, Garlsson Real Estate – ne bis in idem

Seemingly irrespective of whether Italy’s criminal courts convict or acquit someone of insider share dealing, Italy’s stock exchange regulator will also issue a fine using administrative law. Is this not contrary to the legal principle of ‘ne bis in idem’? More