Case C-681/16, Pfizer Ireland – Specific Mechanism suppresses drug circulation

The internal market in pharmaceuticals can be partitioned by EU law. For example, the EU’s ‘Specific Mechanism’ will sometimes allow patent holders to stop the import of drugs into the ‘old’ Member States from the ‘new’ Member States, where prices are markedly lower. In this case, the drug company patent holder Pfizer wants to stop cheap imports of a psoriasis and arthritis drug from entering into Germany – and to that end, it has invoked the Specific Mechanism. In contrast, the importer contends that the Specific Mechanism does not apply; consequently, the EU principle of the free movement of goods should be allowed to operate. 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-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

Case C-277/15, Servoprax – challenging language obstacles to parallel imported medical products

Servoprax is wholesaler of medical products. Among the products it sells are blood glucose testing kits. Because those kits are imported into Germany, Servoprax gives them German labels and instructions. The question in this case is whether Servoprax’s labelling and instructions are clear enough to pass muster under the EU’s ‘in vitro diagnostic medical devices’ Directive 98/79. More

Case C-297/15, Ferring Lægemidler – artificially segmenting the market in laxatives?

Can multi-packs of trademarked medicine be repackaged in an exporting country where this is necessary to be able to sell single packs of those goods in an importing EU country? And if so, then what are the criteria for determining ‘necessity’ for the purposes of the EU’s trade mark Directive 2008/95/EC? More