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-169/15, Montis Design – EU copyright and Benelux design formalities, a game of musical chairs?

When a company owns the Benelux rights in the design of a chair but then it fails to maintain the registration of its Benelux rights under Benelux law, can a rival company still be stopped from making similar chairs because of the links between the old Benelux law and current EU law? More specifically, what is the relationship between Benelux rights and the EU’s ‘term of protection’ Directive 93/98/EEC? More

Case C-610/15, Stichting Brein – seeking website blocks to stop peer to peer technology

People may use telecoms networks to pass information to each other. Some websites such as that run by The Pirate Bay allow people to download software that enables them to pass small pieces of information around a telecoms network. The question in this case is whether a Dutch court can order telecoms companies to block their customers’ access to websites like The Pirate Bay in order to stop presumed copyright infringement from taking place. More

Case C-527/15, Stichting Brein – copyright brain-teasers about media players

People are using ‘media players’ to watch films and television via streaming websites. However, what is to be done where the owner of the copyright in the films has not consented to his films being available on those websites? Is it possible for him to go after not the website owner but the manufacturers of media players by claiming that it is the media player machines that are communicating copyright works to the public? And if so, then can the manufacturer of a media player escape liability by raising a defence that his machine is merely enabling a user to make a ‘lawful use’ copy of the copyright-protected work for the purposes of the EU’s ‘InfoSoc’ Directive 2001/29? More

Case C-301/15, Soulier and Doke – objecting to a French out-of-print-book scheme

If twentieth-century books are no longer in print but still protected by copyright, and French law creates a legal mechanism to ensure the digitisation of those works; then is not French law undermining the principle enshrined in the EU’s ‘InfoSoc’ Directive 2001/29 that it is the author who has the right to control ‘reproductions’ of his work? More