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-642/16, Junek Europ-Vertrieb – can its sticky label stop the artificial partitioning of the internal market?

A German company sells a trademark medical dressing. Having exported some of its stock to Austria, it was surprised to see this subsequently turn up in a German pharmacy. Unsurprisingly, the German company wants to stop its German prices from being undercut. Consequently, it has invoked the EU’s ‘trade mark’ Regulation 207/2009. This is because Article 13(2) allows it to prohibit the further commercialisation of its goods ‘in particular’ where these have been changed or their quality impaired. In that context, the German company is objecting to the Austrian importer-exporter having applied a sticky label to the packaging. However, the legal question is: does Article 13(2) bite at all because the sticky label was only on an otherwise blank part of the outer-packaging so there has been no change to the goods or impairment of their quality. 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-163/16, Louboutin – shoe soles, signs solely comprising a shape, and judicial cobblers

If a red shaped-sole gives substantial value to a shoe, then is a trade mark registration invalid because EU trade mark legislation prohibits the registration of signs where shape gives substantial value to the goods? More

Case C-618/15, Concurrence – a French court’s jurisdiction to hear a dispute involving Luxembourg’s Amazon

Where a French shop is authorised to sell Samsung’s products in its store but not via its own website, can it ask the French courts to order Amazon to remove the sale of Samsung’s goods from Amazon’s websites in Denmark, the UK, Spain and Italy because consumers in France are able to buy Samsung’s goods via those websites? More