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-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

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-671/15, APVE – How to grow a price-fixing cartel and weed out EU cartel law

Are there any limits to the scope of EU cartel law? Yes, in the interstices of agricultural policy. The legal issue in this case is whether France’s growers of endives can talk to each other and fix prices in order to serve EU agricultural policy without incurring the wrath of EU competition law. More