Thursday, July 07, 2011

This Week in Luxembourg

For once I am making an exception as to OHIM cases. I tend to ignore them, but this week the Grand Chamber is looking into the question of whether you can register a trademark that is also the name of a well-known person. Under Italian law you can, but only with this person's consent. And despite the fact that Elio Fiorucci sold his business and all its creative assets to the appellant, he never gave express consent for them to register his name as a trademark. Edwin v. OHIM

Then there is some market abuse law. According to the 2nd Chamber, art. 1(2)(a)(2) Directive 2003/6 does not require, in order for the price of one or more financial instruments to be considered to have been fixed at an abnormal or artificial level, that that price must maintain an abnormal or artificial level for more than a certain duration. (In this case, they messed with the price for only a few minutes.) IMC Securities v. AFM

In the case of Pavlov and Famira, about the pre-accession discrimination of a Bulgarian would-be lawyer in Austria, the Court skips over the direct effect question (Cf. AG Mengozzi (NL, DE, FR), who did not), and simply concludes that access to the regulated professions was not covered by the relevant provision in Bulgaria's Association Agreement.

These emails do not usually cover Romanian tax law, but in this case it is interesting to note the case of Nisipeanu (FR). Apparently, the Romanian tax in question, a "pollution tax on motor vehicles upon first registration in Romania", was set up in such a way that it had the effect of favouring the domestic second-hand car market over the market for imported second-hand cars. As such, it is unlawful under art. 110 TFEU.

In another Romanian case, Ministerul Justiţiei și Libertăţilor Cetăţenești v. Ştefan Agafiţei et al., the prejudicial question was declared inadmissible, on the grounds that it didn't actually have anything to do with EU law. The case is about the "unfairly" high salary enjoyed by the prosecutors working for the National Anti‑Corruption Directorate and the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism. While there may be an element of discrimination there, it is not the kind of discrimination that is forbidden by any EU law.

P.S. the archive of these emails is here.

No comments: