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-498/16, Schrems – a Facebook consumer or simply in the business of privacy?

This case concerns a person with a Facebook account. He uses it not only to exchange private photographs and chat with about 250 friends but also for publicity purposes. The legal issue is whether this latter activity stops him from qualifying as a ‘consumer’. The definition matters because if he is a consumer, then he and several thousand other Austrians who are aggrieved at Facebook’s use of their personal data will be able to sue in the Austrian courts. 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-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-112/16, Persidera – access to Italian broadcasting frequencies

Perisdera is an Italian broadcasting company. However, it has had difficulties accessing Italy’s radio frequencies. It is a story common to other broadcasters trying to access the Italian market; indeed, there is already preliminary reference about this problem pending at the CJEU, Case C-560/15, Europa Way. This fresh preliminary reference adds a further couple of legal questions. More