Case C-644/16, Synthon – resisting its impounded documents being inspected by a rival

How can you prove your case when the other party has in its possession the evidence you need? Perhaps you will need to instigate a search-and-seize raid on the other party? In this case, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm did just that. It organised Dutch court bailiffs to raid a Dutch firm suspected of making patent-infringing drugs. However, once the materials had been seized, the Japanese firm then asked the Dutch court for access to inspect them. This stumped the Dutch judges. What rules and standards should they apply to determine that request in light of the ‘evidence’ rule in Article 6 of the EU’s ‘enforcement’ Directive 2004/48? More

Case C-470/16, North East Pylon Pressure Campaign – piling on the environmental information pressure

If there is an EU-authorised construction project that requires an ‘environmental impact statement’ for the purposes of the EU’s Directive 97/11/EC, but the environmental information which underpins that statement is then suddenly changed; then when can people go to their local judge and ask him to review this matter of EU environmental law? Must they wait for a planning body to issue a final decision before they can go to a judge? And what should be done in Ireland? People there have already gone to their local judge before the final decision and have asked for an injunction to stop a planning enquiry. The State owned energy company says that this is a frivolous legal action because of course the Irish court must wait for the Irish body to make a determination; consequently, the company wants its litigation costs paid for by the claimant. And while Irish law does allow costs to be awarded in the event of a claim being frivolous, is that Irish exception (and others in Irish costs law) compatible with the principle in the EU Directive and Aarhus Convention that each side bears its own costs? And what should an Irish judge do when another part of the Irish legislation seems to reflect another Aarhus Convention obligation but it is even narrower in scope than the Convention? More

Case C-194/16, Bolagsupplysningen – objecting to Swedish internet trolls

A Swedish webpage blacklisted a particular person and a company. Since that webpage had a discussion forum, its Swedish readers left negative comments on the website too. Unable to get the Swedish website either to rectify the alleged inaccuracies in its publication or remove the hurtful comments, the blacklisted person went to their local court seeking a court order. However, that court was in Estonia. At first instance, the Estonian court declined jurisdiction to hear the dispute because it thought the harm was in Sweden. Therefore, the legal question in this case is: where is the harm with Swedish internet trolls? More

Case C-24/16, Nintendo – jurisdiction by design

Nintendo is suing companies in the German courts for the alleged infringement of its design rights. However, the German courts wonder if they have jurisdiction to decide the case and the scope of any measures they might impose. The first problem is that the German defendant is only a subsidiary and its parent company is domiciled in France. The second problem is that although the defendant’s website has images on it that correspond to Nintendo’s design rights, these have been put there so that consumers know immediately that the defendant’s goods can be used in Nintendo’s games consoles. More

Case C-367/15, Stowarzyszenie “Oławska Telewizja Kablowa – punitive damages and copyright infringers

Where national law entitles a copyright owner to compensation from a copyright infringer that is two or three times the cost of the licence which the infringer should have paid in the first place, is that national law compliant with the EU’s ‘enforcement’ Directive 2004/48/EC? More