Thursday, December 01, 2011

This Week in Luxembourg

In Painer v. Standard Verlag and others, the case about the photograph used to search for Natascha Kampusch, the 3rd Chamber’s judgment is more favourable to the photographer than AG Trstenjak’s opinion was. Unlike the AG, the Court suggests that the photographer probably will be able to sue all the newspapers at once, and it also holds that the public interest defence is less powerful than the AG had argued.

The law on the importation of counterfeit goods turns out to be more complicated than I thought. If I understand this judgment correctly, whether the intellectual property can prevent counterfeit goods from being brought into the EU depends on whether they’re coming here to stay. Joined cases Philips v. Lucheng Meijing and others and Nokia v. HM Commissioners of Revenue and Customs

The Netherlands, too, is no longer permitted to require that notaries have Dutch citizenship. The war on notaries continues. (Cf. these judgments from May: Commission v. Greece, Commission v. Germany, Commission v. Austria, Commission v. Portugal, Commission v. Luxembourg, Commission v. France, and Commission v. Belgium.) Commission v. Netherlands (NL, DE, FR)

AG Mengozzi proposed that the Grand Chamber should overrule the General Court’s judgment in Tay Za v. Council, where that court upheld the asset freeze imposed on the applicant on account of his connection to the regime in Burma. The AG considered that the General Court and the Council made a mistake on legal basis (art. 60 and 301 EC), that there had been a violation of the rights of defence, that the General Court had been too deferential to the Council, and that the Council had failed to state adequate reasons. So yes, ouch… Tay Za v. Council

In another opinion for the Grand Chamber, AG Bot gives an – in my view appropriately – narrow reading of copyright law & software. Copyright protects the code, not the functionality. Cf. Directive 91/250. Of course, the user manual is a different story. That you can’t copy. SAS Institute Inc. v. Word Programming Ltd.

AG Trstenjak has some thoughts on unfair trade practices and usury. Yes, usury. Pereničová and Perenič v. SOS finance (NL, DE, FR) Perhaps more relevant for the 21st century, she also has an opinion on the French approach to re-entry visas for 3rd country nationals who temporarily want to leave France. The AG does not consider the French approach unlawful under the Schengen Borders Code. Association nationale d’assistance aux frontières pour les étrangers v. Ministre de l'intérieur, de l'outre-mer, des collectivités territoriales et de l'immigration (NL, DE, FR)

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