Thursday, July 28, 2011

This Week in Luxembourg

These are (some of) the last opinions issued by the Court before its August break:

In Synthon BV v. Merz Pharma and in Generics (UK) Ltd. v. Synaptech, the Second Chamber held that “a product (…), which has been placed on the market in the Community as a medicinal product for human use before obtaining a marketing authorisation in accordance with Directive 65/65, and, in particular, without undergoing safety and efficacy testing, is not within the scope of Regulation 1768/92 and can not therefore be the subject of [a Supplementary Protection Certificate].” In both cases, the product predated all of the relevant legislation.

In other pharma news, the First Chamber put a stop to an attempt by Merck, Sharp & Dohme to get yet more power over the value chain out of its trademarks. The story is a bit complicated, but it has to do with authorisation for repackaging in the process of parallel imports and the question who should be listed on the box as the repackager: the company that physically does it or the company that instructed it to be done and that is legally liable. It is the latter, or at least Merck aren’t allowed to say otherwise. Orifarm et al. v. Merck, Sharp & Dohme

In some Privileges & Immunities fun, the Fifth Chamber ruled that Finland were not allowed to say that Lotta Gistö was no longer a resident for tax purposes, just because she moved to Luxembourg because her husband works there as a translator for the EU. This might be different if she had gainful employment in Luxembourg, but as long as she does not, art. 14 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities requires Finland to keep treating her as resident in Finland for tax purposes. Lotta Gistö

To the surprise of absolutely no one who has ever been in Belgium, the various Belgian governments did not manage to transpose Directive 2005/81 in time, insofar as it applies to the financing of the various public television stations (i.e. VRT and RTBF). Too many different parliaments having to pass too many pieces of sensitive legislation. However, the matter does appear to be arranged now. Commission v. Belgium (FR)

In an Aarhus case, the Third Chamber reiterated that a public authority may cumulate refusal factors in order to explain why it is denying an access to documents request, even when no individual exception would be sufficient. Office of Communications v. Information Commissioner

Finally, in an asylum law case, the Second Chamber ruled that it is not necessary for Luxembourg to allow separate judicial review of the national authority’s decision to employ the accelerated procedure, as long as the propriety of this decision can later be examined in the judicial review of its ultimate decision on the merits. Brahim Samba Diouf v. Ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de l’Immigration

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

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