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-393/16, Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne – against German Champagne Sorbet not from the French Champagne

‘Champagne’ said the wording on a box of German supermarket sorbet. ‘Champagne 12%’, echoed the list of ingredients. However, the supermarket’s sorbet is not from the Champagne area of France, and the commercial use of the word ‘Champagne’ is governed by the EU’s ‘geographical indication’ Regulations. More

Case C-230/16, Coty Germany – trade mark selective distributorship agreements and hardcore restrictions on competition

When a company sells expensive ‘luxury’ goods, can it contractually ban its commercial customers from reselling those goods via third party websites like Amazon? Or would such a condition constitute a hardcore restriction on competition contrary to EU cartel law? More

Case C-146/16, Verband Sozialer Wettbewerb – against printed adverts when the mandatory consumer information is online

Under EU law, if a trader puts an advert in a paper, then it should mention the trader’s address. However, what is to be done when an advert fails to mention mandatory consumer information but this is available on the trader’s website? Is the advert in the paper still contrary to EU law? More

Case C-210/16, Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein – Facebook Fan Page visitor data

Organisations and celebrities who use social media can ask Facebook for a ‘Fan Page’. Visitors to that Fan Page will then have their personal data taken and processed by Facebook, which in turn will send the Fan Page-holder anonymised statistical data about who visits the web page. The two main legal questions here are: can a German data protection agency require that a German organisation stops using its Fan Page when Facebook breaches German privacy law? And is it a defence for the institution to turn around and say that it is not processing visitors’ data because Facebook and its cookies do all this, and they do so under the regulatory supervision of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner? More